Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running

Marathon Mondays – Week 7 of Chicago Marathon Training

And just like that, week 7 of Chicago marathon training is over. Only TEN more weeks to go. CRAP. Will I survive this? I’m already terribly exhausted. LOL. Maybe I should have chosen a less intense program. Sigh. Oh well, go big or go home, right?

Scheduled MileageActual Mileage

Monday (6 miles) 6 miles 

For the second Monday in a row, I felt SUPER sluggish and wanting to die (I exaggerate, of course) during my easy run. BUT for the second Monday in a row, my friends stayed by me and kept pushing me to the finish. Yay!

Tuesday (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and CD) (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and ~1.75 mile CD) 

Midway through my interval training, my stomach decided that it wanted to play games with me. This is when I found out that there were NO BATHROOMS available by the track I was running on. I ended up taking a break to find a bathroom and when I found one, my stomach decided that it was fine again. Sigh. I didn’t let that deter me though. I ran back to the track and finished the rest of my intervals.

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I’m so fast, I’m just a blur. LOL
Wednesday (Rest) Rest 

Of course I rested. Wednesdays are now a god send to me. LOL.

Thursday (5 mile tempo; 1 mile WU and CD)5 mile tempo; 1 mile WU and 1.2 mile CD

I was pretty nervous about this tempo run since I botched the last one. But luck was on my side this time. Aside from a tingling sensation at the bottom of my feet for the first three miles, the run went well and I nailed my pacing! Hooray! I ran in the evening this time to make sure heat wasn’t an issue and ended up running a bit faster than my goal pace (I was nervous about missing my pace again), but I’m calling this a win in my book.

Friday (5 miles)5.2 miles

I have never loved easy runs more. I made sure to make this run a relatively easy one because I knew the next day was going to be a long one.

Saturday (6 miles)12 long run miles

I ran my long run with Movin Shoes again because honestly, it’s just much easier to run with friends. I had originally planned on 11, but because we took a new route, I kind of got lost and ended up running a bit more than anticipated. It was still really fun since I got to explore new parts of my city.

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Sunday (10 miles)3.6 miles 

I intentionally run a little bit more than my scheduled mileage each day so my Sunday can be low in mileage. Ran my 3.6 miles and called it a week. 🙂

Total mileage (41 miles)41.2 miles


NAILED IT!

Thoughts for the week: I’m super happy I nailed my tempo run, but this upcoming week will be another uphill battle for me. I know I say that almost every week, but it’s true. This program truly puts me out of my running comfort zone and it may seem kind of pessimistic of me, but as each week passes, I’m just wondering when I’m going to call it quits. This week, I will be jumping from 41 miles to 47 miles. My tempo run increases to 8 miles + 1 mile WU and CD and my long run will be 15 miles. YIKES! If I make it through this week, I deserve some new running gear. LOL. Any suggestions on what I should get? 🙂

 

 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 6 of Chicago Marathon training

Well, this training method has been an interesting one. Here’s how week 6 went for me.

Scheduled mileageActual mileage

Monday (4 miles)4 miles

After my race the day before, I was in no shape to run anything more than what was expected of me. My quads were pretty sore, but I made it out to Movin’ Shoes for a group run and as soon as I started running, they felt better and 4 easy run miles flew by.

Tuesday (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and CD)6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 2.5 mile WU and 1.5 mile CD

This was my first real interval training. I was so unprepared for it that I brought my Hanson’s marathon method training book with me to work so I could look into the specifics of it before going into it. I think I did a pretty good job at it after looking at my pacing through the workout.

Interval 071817Although I did realize a few days later that my warm up (WU) and cool down (CD) were a bit longer than what was scheduled. Oops. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

I’ve been sleeping so much more ever since starting this program. I need my body to restore itself so if the program says rest, I’m going to rest.

Thursday (5 miles tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD)3 mile tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD

I missed the note at the bottom of my training plan where it said WUs and CDs were supposed to be a mile each. Since I did extra miles on Tuesday’s interval training, I decreased my tempo run mileage for the day. This was probably the worst run of the week. For tempo runs, I’m supposed to run around my marathon pace. Let’s just say I didn’t hit my marathon pace during any of the miles. 😦

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Friday (4 miles)4.3 miles

After Thursday’s terrible run, I took it easy and ran the 4 miles as a much more comfortable pace.

Saturday (6 miles)11 long run miles

I will probably be swapping Saturday and Sunday miles simply because my run group meets on Saturday and I lack motivation when there isn’t a group run. LOL. I ran with someone who’s around my pace and we managed 11 miles at a slightly faster pace. It wasn’t marathon pace, but I did feel very strong during this run. 🙂

Sunday (10 miles)4.7 miles

Because of extra mileage earlier in the week, I only had to run 4.7 easy miles to meet my weekly mileage.

Total mileage: (38 miles)38 milesIMG_1098

Thoughts for the week: Although, I’m super proud of myself for meeting such a high weekly mileage goal, I am worried I’m not performing as well as I’d like in terms of speed. Depending on how my next few tempo runs go, I may have to reassess my marathon goal of 4 hours. The Chicago marathon corral assignments came out this week and I’m already having serious doubts about whether I can actually reach a sub 4 time. I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when I do more tempo runs. 

How do you deal with doubt when training? Any tips for anyone who wants to get faster? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Discount Codes, Running

Staying hydrated – Orange Mud P.F.V product review & a discount code

Disclaimer: I received an OrangeMud Phone.Flask.Vest..to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

I am in full swing of marathon training and with the summer heat, a hydration pack was something I desperately needed. I had been scouring the sites in hopes of finding one that wasn’t too heavy and wouldn’t chafe in the humid temperatures. Luckily, BibRave gave us the opportunity to try Orange Mud’s Phone. Flask.Vest (P.F.V.) and I jumped at the chance.

The basics of the P.F.V.

Like the name implies, it’s a vest that can hold both your phone and a hydration flask. On the front of the vest, there are two main pockets – one for your flask and one for your phone. The flask is a soft flask that can hold up to 450 (15 oz) or 600 mL (20 oz) of fluids (it comes witht he 450 mL one) and deflates the more you drink from it. On one side of the vest, there is a shoulder pocket that you can store gels/chews/whatever nutrition you may need. There’s also a key clip that you can use to store your key while running. On the other side of the vest is a dust cover for the bite valve in case you don’t want it to get dirty while running. No one likes biting onto a valve that’s covered with dirt. Gross. On the back of the vest, there’s another pocket for a light jacket. The vest also has adjustable straps to tighten or loosen to your liking. Its cost? $99.95.

My experience

Weight – This vest is extremely lightweight. It may look like a lot to wear, but it’s actually not. Even after runs, I would just keep it on when I ran my errands.

Bounce – When I first tried this vest on, I found that it bounced a bit. After playing with it a bit, I found that if I tightened the straps enough, the bounce was very minimal and I had no problem with it. I ran a half marathon with it on and the vest didn’t bother me at all. I will note that other people that I’ve talked to have experienced more of a bounce. I am a bit more flat chested (I’m a B cup), which might be beneficial to me in this situation.

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Wearing the PFV during the Craft Classic Half marathon

Breathability – Even with the addition of the vest, my body didn’t seem to heat up. The material (mesh) that the vest is made out of makes it very breathable.

Chafe – This was such a big concern for me. With summer comes heat, humidity, and the high probability of chafing. I am super happy to report that I didn’t experience any chafing even after running a half marathon. I will note that I put bodyglide on my neck during that race because it was my first time running 13.1 miles with that vest on and I didn’t want to take any chances. I have run 6 miles in a sports bra with no bodyglide and the vest didn’t rub on me at all. Hooray! I will mention that I did wear a necklace once on a run and the vest rubbed the necklace against my collar bone. So just don’t wear necklaces while running and you’ll be good to go.

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On SportsBraSquad day!

Hydration and fuel – I do wish that the flask was a little larger so I could take it with me on longer runs. I usually finish up the water by mile 6 or 7. However, I can easily solve this issue by running by places that have water fountains. I can just refill the flask and continue on my run. On my half marathon, I stopped by 3 aid stations in addition to sipping water from my vest and that was just the perfect amount of water for me. I love using the pockets to hide my gels. This will definitely come in handy when I start running longer distances. 🙂

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Stay hydrated everyone!

Other – There was one thing I didn’t like about the vest, which was the fact that my flask initially leaks when I first use it. Although I don’t really feel the leak, it does soak part of the pocket, making it difficult to put my phone in the front pocket. (I have never put my phone in the front pocket since I have a flipbelt and use that instead; I also don’t want to overload the front of the vest). It doesn’t seem to leak at all after the initial leak and it might have to do with me adding too much water to the flask.

So there you have it, my review on the newest Orange Mud product, the Phone. Flask. Vest. You can bet that I’ll be wearing it a lot more often as the heat increases. If you are interested in any of their products, you can use the code “BRPPFV” for 10% off all their stuff. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me about it or check out any of the other BRPs’ reviews below. You can also join us on Tuesday, July 25th for our #bibchat on Twitter for a chance to win 1 of 2 P.F.V.s!

Fallon – Casey – Bradley – Heather – Angie

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

I ran for beer (San Diego’s Craft Classic race report)

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San Diego – Craft Classic as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

I did it. I ran another summer half marathon after swearing not to. LOL. And to be honest, my 15th half marathon wasn’t half bad. Here’s how my race weekend went.

Packet Pick-up: The packet pick-up was held at Road Runner Sports on Friday and Saturday. I went on Friday afternoon and packet pick up was a breeze. There was no issue with parking because Road Runner Sports has a pretty big parking lot. Yay! Also, you don’t have to pay for parking. Amazing, right? I hate having to pay just pick something up. With registration, you get your race bib, a nice “On a Beer Run” shirt, and a shiny Craft Classic pint glass. I ran into a few people from the running community that I knew, chatted with them for a bit, and was on my way.

Pre-race: I’m getting better at sleeping the night before races everyone. 🙂  I got in 7-8 hours and woke up feeling refreshed. Hooray! Left my house around 4 am and got to the parking lot by the finish line with no delay. There was no traffic, no waiting in a long line of cars, and no paying for parking. Double hooray! Their parking lot was big so I had no issues finding parking. 🙂 I parked, took the shuttle to the start line, and waited only about an hour before the race started. The hour flew by as I met up with more people from the running community. I cannot stress enough how much I love meeting new people that I follow/they follow me on IG. If you’re ever running the same race I am, please feel free to hit me up and say hi. 🙂 IMG_0922

The Course: The race starts out on a bike path, which causes a huge bottleneck at the beginning. The path ran west along a freeway (route 56) before diverting south. For the most part, the first half of the race is downhill. At mile 8, you hit your first big hill. At mile 10, you hit the “king of the mountain,” which is of course a monstrous hill. At mile 12, it’s a glorious down hill run and at mile 12.5, you hit your last hill because honestly, the organizers of the race really wanted you to earn that beer. LOL.

My experience with the race: I wanted to finish around the 2 hour mark so I initiall stuck by the 2 hour pacers. Unfortunately with the initial bottleneck, I struggled to keep up with them. I rushed out too fast to catch up with them and ended up paying for it later around mile 10. (Tip: Don’t rush at the beginning. You won’t have enough energy for the end.) After the first mile, the path cleared up and I got into my groove. I was on pace until mile 9. I slowed down quite a bit knowing that THE hill was coming up. Unfortunately, due to my initial running burst, I was pretty mentally drained at that point. I saw the hill and said “F— it.” I walked up a chunk of the hill and tried to stay positive. I was able to jog up some of the hill, but I spent a lot of time just encouraging others up the hill. I also kept telling myself that I didn’t need to push hard for this race because the end game was to finish the Chicago marathon strong. I didn’t want to tire myself out too early in the training plan. At the top of the hill, a spectator told everyone that we’d love what’s around the corner and boy was he right. What goes up must come down, right? 🙂 I ran my legs off on that downhill only to see another hill near the finish line. LOL. I ended up walking a bit of that last hill, but pushed for it when I saw that I the gun time sign said 2:00:20. I had no idea how close I was to 2 hours so I sprinted for the finish line.

My official time? 2:00:01. LOL. I did say I wanted to run this race somewhere between 2:00 and 2:10. I got my wish. 😛

IMG_0912

Post-race: I got my shiny new medal, met up with some more people, and headed to the beer garden. There was a Nuun hydration station, which I was super grateful for. I think I hit up that station three or four times to get electrolytes. 🙂 I stayed for the announcement of the overall winners who won their weight in beer (wow) and headed home. Overall, I had a great time and will probably do it again next year. I mean, I have to take another crack at “king of the mountain.” I’m all about redemption. 🙂

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So what did you do this past weekend? Did you race or just have a chill weekend? 

 

Posted in Discount Codes, Running, Thoughts

Top 5 reasons to run America’s Finest City Half – Discount code included!

I just finished the San Diego Craft Classic and I already want to run another summer race. LOL. There are a few summer races left and I’m considering running America’s Finest City….again. I know. I know.  I didn’t have the best AFC experience a few years ago, but I feel like it’s time to redeem myself. I also came up with my top five reasons for others to run it.

  1. It’ll be their 40th anniversary so you know they’ll be pulling out all the stops for this special milestone. I don’t know about you, but I love anniversaries. I’m hoping for a really nice finisher’s medal. 🙂 They promised a custom “40th edition, dazzling finisher’s medal” so I’m pretty excited to see its reveal. It’s rumored to be a spinning disco ball medal. Yay!
  2. This race is the last of the three races that you must complete for the Triple Crown. For those unfamiliar with the Triple Crown challenge, it’s a series of three races (Carlsbad half or full, La Jolla Half, and AFC half) that must be completed within the same calendar year. Once you complete it, you get bragging rights, a ton of photo opps, and a BIG Triple Crown Medal. I completed the series in 2015 and it’s an accomplishment I like bringing up from time to time. LOL. Even if you didn’t do the other two races, doing the AFC this year will prepare you for next year. 🙂

    2015-08-18 20.02.43
    Carlsbad, La Jolla, America’s Finest City (AFC), and my Triple Crown medal from 2015
  3. The neighborhood support is great. San Diego races are awesome. People wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on friends and strangers alike. The volunteers and neighbors come out and bring their A game even in the summer. When I ran this race, I was having a tough time regulating my body temperature. It was hot and I wasn’t used to summer running. However, at mile 10, there was a volunteer group that grilled up mini sliders for all the runners. Can you believe that? They were grilling up food for us in the heat! If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.
  4. The course is a pretty scenic point-to-point course. I love these types of courses. It’s the best way to see a city. 🙂 You start off at the historic Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, run by the Embarcadero along the bay into downtown, and finish in Balboa Park. If you’re a tourist, this is the best way to end a race. Balboa Park always has something going on during the weekends. There are yoga classes, museums, street performers, and beautiful gardens.17309657_1627117090637954_1504000611218057106_n
  5. And this year, they’ve also included complimentary Ballast Point beer and Rubio’s chips, salsa, and guacamole in the finish line beer garden. Run for beer anyone?

If you’re interested in running a summer half marathon in San Diego (and I mean, who wouldn’t), you should definitely look into the AFC. You can also use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” to save $20 off the registration for the half marathon. Even if you’re not ready for the half marathon, AFC also has a 5k option if you want to try part of the route. The half marathon and 5k are at $115 and $45, respectively, through July 19th so sign up before the price increase!

If you’re worried about the heat, think of it this way. Once you cross that finish line, every other half marathon will be a piece of cake. 🙂 Seriously.

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 5 Chicago Marathon training

I am officially done with week 5 of marathon training and boy am I pooped. POOPED I say. This was a crazy week as Hanson’s marathon method had me scheduled to run 39 miles! THIRTY NINE miles. The week before, I was only scheduled to run 24 miles. Why 39 miles? Oh lord. Anyway, here’s how last week went.

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 9 miles 

My boyfriend was visiting for a week and I knew that I would not have enough time to do my scheduled interval training on Tuesday, which was estimated to be about 6 miles plus a 1.5 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down. Also, since I had a race on Sunday, the plan said to forgo interval training for that week. Because of all that, I woke up Monday morning thinking I’d just run 9 miles just like that. LOL. Thinking about it now, I still can’t believe I just decided to run 9 miles like it wasn’t a big deal or anything.  I think I’m running obsessed. Anyway, I broke up the distance up into two runs making the mileage a lot more manageable. I ran 3 miles earlier in the afternoon and after work, I met up with my run group and we ran another 6 miles. Thankfully, a friend who runs at a similar pace was there and she ran with me the entire way. Yay friends!

IMG_0856
After my 6 mile run with Movin’ Shoes

Tuesday (Speed training 12 x 400 m with 400 m recovery jog) – 4 miles 

Despite being exhausted from Monday’s run, I kept waking up in the middle of the night, which made Tuesday’s run tough. I had to pick up my boyfriend from the airport that morning so I squeezed in my run before his arrival. I was a bit late waking up so I ran 4 miles in the hot sun. Luckily, there was a lot of shade and breeze along the bay I ran around and it wasn’t too bad.

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

You bet I rested. Working out/running for 8 days without a break is killer. I wouldn’t recommend it. Do as I say, not as I do. I’m clearly (running) crazy.

Thursday (5 miles)5 miles

Thank goodness for scheduled group runs. It was the second Thursday of the month meaning it was Adventure Run day. I unfortunately ate something bad right before the run and ended up running with a crazy upset stomach. I struggled through those 5 miles, but I finished.

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Thank you to my friend Alex who ran with me and kept me company while I struggled with tummy issues

Friday (4 miles)4 miles

My car was having some issues so I had to get it to the repair shop stat. It took 45 min to get my car fixed so I decided to just go for a 4 mile jaunt around the block. LOL. You gotta do what you gotta do to get those miles in. 🙂

Saturday (8 miles) –  3 miles

Because I was running a half marathon on Sunday, I made this day a 3 mile run. I was supposed to log 16 miles over the weekend anyway so I just split the distances over the two days.

Sunday (8 miles)13.1 miles

Having run so many miles earlier in the week, I was a bit worried about running a half marathon and about having to run it at a faster pace than usual. Luckily, I survived the race and finished off the week with 13.1 miles. Woohoo! A re-cap of the race will be coming shortly. Stay tuned!

Total Mileage (39 miles)38.5 miles

Thought of the week: I will have to say that despite missing my target mileage by a half mile, I’m still extremely proud of myself. Prior to this, I had never run anything more than 32 miles a week and that was peak week for my NYC marathon training. It may not seem like much to a high volume runner, but it was all I could manage last year. I feel that this year, I’m much more prepared as a runner. 🙂

How is everyone’s training going? Did you race this past weekend? 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 4 of Chicago marathon training

After 3 weeks of base training, I finally started increasing my weekly mileage. This week, I was scheduled for 24 miles. Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Monday (Rest) – Soooooo I wasn’t going to actually rest on Monday. I had plans to go to kickboxing again, but once I got there, they were closed. Womp womp. Turns out that they had closed in preparation for the 4th of July. Oops. I should probably check their schedule in advance next time.

Tuesday (5 miles) – The group I run with at Movin Shoes had an organized 10k fun run up to Mt. Soledad. For those of you who don’t know, the trek up Mt. Soledad is STEEP! There’s a gain of 676 ft in elevation over the course of 3.1 miles. I ran up this hill in May and must have forgotten how steep it was because I ran up it again on Tuesday and boy was it killer. I am proud to say that I ran up that entire hill without stopping though. 🙂 When I ran it in May, I had to walk a portion of it so I think I’m improving. Yay!img_0778

Wednesday (Rest) – Since I didn’t do kickboxing Monday, I caught Wednesday’s kickboxing class instead. I, once again, pulled my butt muscle. LOL. I honestly don’t know how I keep doing this to myself. Sigh.

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Thursday (4 miles) – Ran an easy 4 miles.

Friday (5 miles) – It started heating up a bit so I grabbed my OrangeMud Phone. (hydration) Flask. Vest. and made it through the 5 miles. The run was a little slower than I wanted, but it still fell within the pace range my program suggested.

Saturday (4 miles) – The weekend runs got a little tricky. It was expected to heat up to the 80s and when it gets hot, I don’t want to run. Luckily, I do group runs on Saturday and I’m a bit more motivated to run on Saturdays so I ran a bit more than suggested. Ran 7 miles at an “easy” pace along the beach. 🙂 In reality, it wasn’t easy. It was hot and humid and chafing was definitely a thing during that run.

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The Fall half marathon/full marathon training group

Sunday (6 miles) – HAH! Yeah, right. Six miles was not going to happen. I had anticipated this, which is why I ran more miles on Saturday. Go past me. 🙂 Anyway, I scheduled a free spin class at SparkCycle in the morning courtesy of Yelp (elite). The class was intense, but I survived thanks to Krystin, my instructor for the class. On a scale of 1-10 for energy, Krystin was an 11. LOL. After finishing class, I went to work and ran an easy 3 miles to finish off the week.

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Krystin, the instructor for the class

Weekly mileage – I ran 26 miles. 🙂 Hooray!

Thought for the week – This upcoming week will be kind of crazy. My boyfriend will be visiting for a week and so I will be trying to run most of my miles in the morning. I’m also deviating from the Hanson marathon method quite a bit since I’m racing on Sunday. Eek. Not sure how this will pan out, but I’ll have my fingers crossed. 🙂 How do you deal with deviations in training?