Posted in Running, Thoughts

I love Rock n’ Roll…races

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Los Angeles Half marathon 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 started this post over a month ago and kept forgetting to finish it. LOL. Oops. But now that I’ve graduated (Hooray!), I will have a little more time to talk to you about some of my upcoming races. I only have a few left for the year with the big one being the Chicago marathon, of course. After Chicago, I will have two Rock N’ Roll races, both of which I’ve never run before so it’ll be pretty exciting.

The first Rock ‘N’ Roll (RnR) race will be RnR Los Angeles, which this post will focus on. (The other race will be RnR Vegas and I’ll post about that later). I’ve been to LA more times than I can count, but I’ve never really explored the city by foot so this will be a fun one to run. It’ll be nice to actually NOT be stuck in traffic for hours. LOL. The Rock ‘N’ Roll race series know how to organize a great race. My first half marathon was one of theirs in San Diego. It was so much fun that I have gone on to run 16 more half marathons since then.

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Isn’t the medal pretty???
In addition to looking forward to running by all the sights, I’m looking forward to exploring their Health and Fitness expos. I know it sounds weird, but I just LOVE meandering through aisles and looking at things. I don’t necessarily buy any of it, but it’s just so interesting to see what different products there are out there. Also, the energy is contagious. There are a lot of first time half marathoners and you can just tell how excited they are when they hold up their bib for their photo opp. RnR Health and Fitness Expos are probably one of the largest out there and I could probably spend a few hours there.

This particular race is Halloween themed so there are a lot of people who dress up for this race. The Cosplayer in me in still figuring out what to wear for the race. I’ve never dressed up for a race before so I have to figure out what I’m comfortable running in. I do not want to be chafing all 13.1 miles. That would just be brutal. I’m thinking Velma from Scooby Doo or maybe even Tigger.

Discount: If you want to run Rock N Roll LA, you can use the code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off the half marathon registration. This code is valid until 10/22/17 when online registration closes.

Question for you: Have you ever dressed up for a race? Is there any advice you could give me on picking a costume that will NOT chafe? I’ve seen a bunch of people wear tutus, but someone mentioned that it’s not very comfortable. Any advice is highly appreciated!

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 11 of Chicago Marathon Training

Week 11 of Chicago marathon training is officially over and boy did the week drag on and on and on. I was sick and plagued with allergies all week long that running made it really difficult for me to breathe. Because of that, it was no surprise that I didn’t hit my weekly goal. Here’s a quick run down of how it went.

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (5 miles)5 miles

After the AFC Half marathon, I was super happy to just run an easy 5 miles. Unfortunately, the run didn’t go very well. I was extremely congested and at times, my allergies got so bad I couldn’t breathe because I was experiencing heavy post-nasal drip. Trust me, it was not pretty.

Tuesday (4 x 1.5 mile with 1 mile WU and CD)No miles

Because of Monday’s fiasco, I decided against running my intervals. I didn’t think I’d have the strength to do it AND I still had to prepare for my defense, which was the next day. A day of rest, wouldn’t kill me, right? At least, that’s what I kept trying to convince myself.

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

Oh and I also defended and got my Ph.D. No big deal. LOL. J/k. It is a HUGE DEAL! 🙂 I’ll write a post on this later.

Thursday (9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU + CD)7.2 mile “easy” run

I still wasn’t 100%, but decided to try and do the tempo run anyway. It really bothered me that I was missing out on so many miles. I, again, had breathing problems and had to constantly blow my nose to make sure I could breathe properly. Then around mile 3, I had digestive issues and had to pause my run. I considered calling it then, but I was really worried about the low weekly mileage (especially with only a month and a half left til the race) and decided to keep going. At 7 miles, I was done.

Friday (5 miles)5 miles

These set of miles were thankfully better than Thursday’s. I wasn’t as motivated to run since I had one hell of a week, but managed to get it in.

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Saturday (8 miles)16 miles

I was only scheduled to do a 10 mile long run this weekend, but because I might be going to Vegas next weekend (to celebrate my graduation), which is also the same weekend as my second 16 mile run, I somehow convinced myself that I should do the 16 this weekend.  The run didn’t start out great. My calf muscles were really tight and I still wasn’t sure how bad my allergies would be, but I felt better after 6 miles in and after passing the 8 mile mark, I was committed to finishing the 16.

Sunday (10 miles)5.7 miles

Woke up and just dragged my feet to get ready. To get myself a bit more pumped about running, I decided to listen to a podcast on my run. The BibRave Podcast this week was on Tim Murphy, one of the co-founders of BibRave, and his experience during the Leadville 100 Trail race. There’s also commentary from his team and pacers and it was such a motivating podcast to listen to while I was trying to run. I was originally only going to do 4.7, but because Tim had done 100+ miles, I thought “Why not? Another mile won’t kill me” and ended with 5.7 miles. 🙂

Total mileage (49 miles)39 miles


Thoughts of the Week: This week I missed the most mileage I’ve ever missed during the training program. It sucks, but because I also got my PhD this week and interviewed for a job while still sick, I’m going to give myself a pass and consider this still a win. 🙂 I’m still very fatigued, but I still have 6 weeks to go and anything can happen in that time. 🙂

Question for you: How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

America’s Finest City Half – Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half 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. 

Happy Friday everyone! The America’s Finest City half was my 6th and 17th half marathon and I can confidently say that I’ve improved – by 18 minutes. 🙂 Yay! Now, let’s get down to how everything went down the weekend of the half. 🙂

Packet Pick-up

Went on a Saturday to the hotel where packet pick-up was being held. There were no hiccups along the way and I got my race bib and technical tee and was in and out of there pretty quickly. The expo was medium sized and would have been a great place to pick up any last minute fuel items for the race. I even bought a 26.2 sticker for my car. 🙂

Race Day

Pre-race

I had been feeling ill the past week and had been waking up really congested so I made sure to sleep as much as possible the night before the race. I ended up with 7.5 hours. Hooray! Woke up at 4 am still pretty congested and got to Balboa Park by 4:30 am and shuttled over to Cabrillo National Monument where the start line was. This race only allows you to park at the finish line because it’s a point to point race and for safety and security reasons, no one is allowed to park at the start. I then waited for about an hour and a half for the race to start. LOL. Luckily, I met up and chatted with several of my running friends to pass the time. 🙂 It was also COMPLETE OVERCAST and was perfect running weather. Hooray!

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My friends! 

Race

I was still sick and didn’t want to stress out my body even more so I stayed true to my promise to take it easy. After crossing the start line, you immediate run down a hill and run past the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a cemetery that is dedicated to veterans. The first 2.5 miles had rolling hills, which weren’t that great for my not warmed up legs, but I managed. We headed into neighborhoods and were greeted with people cheering and shots of whiskey. LOL. We then headed towards the bay and ran along the bay from mile 4 to 10. This was really a scenic route – one that is much more different than the San Diego Rock N’ Roll half that I ran earlier this year. At mile 8, my lower back started hurting and I had to slow down my pace by quite a bit. By mile 9, I was mentally drained. I didn’t want to start walking because I knew once I started, I’d be more likely to walk again later on so I just pushed on. At mile 10, we started entering downtown and at mile 11, something amazing happened. People were handing out mini sliders! I took one and munched on it as I made my way towards the 6th avenue hill, which everyone pretty much hates. LOL. It’s probably a 150 ft increase in elevation and just destroys runners because it’s so late in the half. The mini sliders must have given me magical powers or something because I powered through that hill. I also grabbed half an otter pop that someone was handing out and munched on it. It was great. I normally don’t eat during halfs, but these were what I needed to get my head back in the game. At mile 12.5, we entered Balboa Park, which is this beautiful HUGE park that has museums, a botanical garden, and even street performers on the weekends. With about a half mile to go, I sprinted again. LOL. I don’t know what it is, but something about finishing strong is really invigorating.

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View of the bay and downtown

Post-Race

They funneled the runners and gave everyone a paper bag with SO MANY GOODIES inside.

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Nom nom nom
I was definitely a happy camper. I grabbed my medal and headed over to the finish line festival. There were huge lines to take the infamous Triple Crown photo. The organizers had even brought in single sofa chairs and royalty paraphernalia for Triple Crown finishers to take pictures with. I didn’t even do the challenge and I wanted to take a photo with the props. LOL. They also had a live band with a lot of 80s themed music since that was the theme. Heading out of the parking lot was probably the only thing I didn’t really like about the race. Since so many people were leaving and finishers were crossing the streets, it took a solid 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot.

Final Thoughts

This race was a lot more scenic than I remember it being. Two years ago, it was hot and humid and that’s all I could remember. This year, running by the bay was breathtaking and I thoroughly enjoyed all the yummy goodies they passed out along the route (sans the alcohol; I’m not crazy LOL). I took it easy and don’t regret it. I’ll try and do the Triple Crown challenge again next year. I really want that photo opp.

Official time: 2:05:58

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17th half in the books!
Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 10 of Chicago Marathon Training

Well, well, well. I am now done with week 10 of marathon training and that means there’s only 7 weeks left! Holy crap. I’m less than 2 months away from running my second marathon. EEK!

Scheduled MileageActual Mileage

Monday (5 miles)5.1 miles

Who loves easy runs? This gal does! I was still feeling pretty sore from Saturday’s race so this run was at a very easy pace.

Tuesday (6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD) 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD

With Hanson’s marathon method, the second half of the training program has me doing strength intervals on Tuesday. They differ from the first half because they are much longer. I was talking to a friend the other day and after I told him I was doing a 6 x 1 mile sprints, he looked at me in disbelief like that wasn’t a thing. In reality, it’s not reallyyyyy a sprint. You’re supposed to run it 10 seconds faster than your marathon pace, which for me would be a 8:59 min/mile. I had no idea I was supposed to do this so my intervals were a little faster. Oops. The good news is that my stamina for running faster and longer is increasing. I can actually feel the difference now. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

It’s amazing what a difference one day will make. On Tuesday, I felt super strong. On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Thank god it was a rest day. My lower back also started to hurt so I tried resting as much as I could. I drank a TON of fluids too.

Thursday (Tempo run 8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8.1 easy run miles

Since I was racing again on Sunday AND still had a sore throat, I took it easy. I was debating the entire day whether to try and run the entire 10 miles or just do 5 miles. I ended running 8 miles. It really irritated me that I didn’t finish the other 2 miles, but over the next few days, I didn’t regret the decision to run less.

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My 8 mile run around the bay
Friday (5 miles) –  6.2 miles

I was super stubborn about the missed mileage on Thursday and even though I still had that sore throat, I ended up running an extra mile on Friday. It was risky and I would never advise anyone to do this.

Saturday (8 miles)7.8 miles

I woke up feeling really congested, but rolled out of bed and joined the Movin’ Shoes long run group. I knew if I didn’t go with them, I’d never get the mileage in. It was tough and I ran it a lot slower than I normally do. I ended up also doing a run/walk towards the end of the run. My race was the next day and I didn’t want to stress out my body too much before then. I know I was supposed to taper, but the half wasn’t my goal race – Chicago is and I want to really commit to Hanson’s program.

Sunday (16 miles)13.3 miles

I was supposed to do my first out of three 16 mile runs today, but based on how I felt, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I finished the half in pretty good shape (I’ll recap soon), but I again didn’t want to push it. A little part of me thought, maybe if I rested up after the race, I could do another 3 miles. After a 2 hour nap and not feeling significantly better, I threw in the towel for the week.

Total Mileage (54 miles)50.4 miles


Thoughts of the Week: I was a bit disappointed that I missed this week’s mileage by 3 miles, but considering the circumstances, I’m still pretty happy that I hit 50 miles this week. FIFTY. 5-0! I remember looking at this program 3 months ago and thinking – I’m definitely going to have to adjust these 50 mile weeks. There’s NO WAY I can do 50. Now look at me. I ran 50 miles WHILE SICK. Booyah self doubt!

Question for you: Have you ever been super stubborn about doing something when you knew it wasn’t the best thing for you? What did you do?

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

SeaWheeze Race Report

I should be focusing on preparing for my defense, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about my race experience at SeaWheeze in Vancouver. It could be all the endorphins running through me, but I have to say this was one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run and I’ve run quite a few in the past three years. Apologies in advance for the length of this post and all the LOLs in it. I had a fantastic time and I can’t contain my love for this race.

First off – Package Pick up at the Expo

SeaWheeze is a little different from most races in that you don’t actually wear a bib when you race. So what exactly did I pick up? Well, I picked up a Lululemon cinch bag (which had a water bottle and Nuun tablets in it), my D-tag, and my Sunset Festival bracelet. I also got to exchange my Lululemon shorts at pick up. Hooray! At package pick up, you get to walk around their Runners Shop and of course, buy their merchandise. I am proud to say that I didn’t buy anything. Don’t get me wrong. I do like their clothes, but since I’m graduating soon with no current employment plans, I decided against splurging for a pair of $58 shorts. The urge to spend was great though and Lululemon knows how to market themselves for sure.

The expo had a lot going on. There were a lot of great photo opportunities (I took advantage of all of them LOL), 15 minute yoga classes and a few vendors (Flow, Vega, Clearly, Saje) to check out. I stopped by most of them, found out my stomach didn’t agree with the Flow water, and then headed out.

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Hello photo opps!

Pre-race

I easily took the bus from my Air BnB to Canada place, which by the way is home to the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Winter Games. It’s a really cool piece of artwork and I wish they had lit it while we were there. Anyway, I met up with fellow BibRave Pros (Jeannine, Amanda, and Bradley) and then headed to the start.

Image uploaded from iOS
Left to right: Jeannine, Amanda, me, and Bradley behind the Olympic Cauldron

At this race, you self seed based on your expected finish time. Pacers, which they call Pace Beavers, were holding up their finish time so I made my way over to the 1:55 pacer and tried to stick with them as long as possible. I had never seen so many people in Lululemon wear in my life. LOL. As I waited to start, I saw this guy with two basketballs in his hands and a temporary “Doctor Dribble” tattoo on his back. Veterans of the race told me that he actually dribbles the entire course. I was impressed. At 7:05 am, the race started and I was on my way.

Race

I, without a doubt, started out WAY TOO FAST. I had a really rough start. I was debating about whether to keep with the 1:55 pacer or just run my own race and ended up with the pacer. That was mistake #1. The pacers were consistently a minute faster than where I needed to be and I struggled to keep up with them. Also, there are A LOT of things going on during this race. Around mile 3, we were on a bridge and there were people on stationary bikes cycling. I believe they were from a spin studio and it was really motivating to see them cheering us on. I tried my best to take pictures, but I also didn’t want to get in anyone’s way when I slowed down to take those pictures. The first time I took out my camera, I dropped my bus pass and a runner almost collided into me. That was mistake #2. I ended up taking a quick pic and was on my way.

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Things I saw along the route

Then my shoelaces got untied and I had to step to the side to tie them – mistake #3. THEN, I found out that the water they were giving out at the aid stations, was the Flow water they served at the expo. I took water from one station and within minutes of drinking it, I felt ill – mistake #4. Like I said, I had a rough start to the race. To make sure I didn’t have to stop by a porta-potty, I ended up bypassing all the water stations and holy moly, I was super thirsty by the end of the race. I was so thirsty at the end of the race that I ended up paying $3 CAD for water at the convention center. Who does that??? LOL. I ended up losing the pacer around mile 6 and at mile 8, “Doctor Dribble” passes me by with his two basketballs and I’m just in shock. What a talented man. LOL.

Despite all the mishaps, I had a fantastic time along the route. There were so many things to see. The things I saw?

  • Drag queens with pom poms
  • People on stilts in animal costumes
  • People dressed in mermaid costumes sitting on the rocks waving at us
  • Rows of people spinning on their stationary bikes
  • People on row machines
  • People on paddle boards ringing their cowbells on the bay
  • Hippies giving out high fives
  • Firefighters and policemen/women sprinkling people with water
  • “Yoga. Run. Party” shrubbery

Just to name a few. 🙂 The neighborhood support was awesome. Also, a huge part of the route is along the seawall and honestly, running along that route made me want to be a Canadian. LOL. The city is just so beautiful and I was so happy I got to explore this city by running through it. I even stopped off to the side to take a picture of the Lion’s Gate bridge. (I have NEVER stopped running during a race to take a photo. It was that picturesque). Honestly, pictures do not do this race justice. With about a mile to go, I ended up pushing myself to sprint. Normally, I can’t sprint for very long, but this time around, I felt strong enough to put everything I had into that last mile. Hooray! Marathon training is paying off. 🙂

Post-race

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed my shiny medal, a pair of Clearly sunglasses, my complimentary brunch, my Runner’s Reward from Saje (it contained a “Muscle Melt” lotion, a 6ml headache remedy, and 6ml analgesic remedy), found water, and waited for my friend to finish.

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Yay pretty medal!

As part of SeaWheeze, all runners also get to attend their Sunset Festival, which in short, is a huge yoga party with musical headliners. It didn’t start until 4:30 pm so my friend and I got lunch and went back to our place to nap before heading back out. I’m not really into yoga, but I thought I’d attend anyway to see what it was about. At the festival, there were more shops for people to buy Lululemon gear. They make SOOOOO much money out of this race. I ran into a woman that said she had used up her mother’s day present, birthday present, and Christmas present for that year. LOL. Wow. There was an hour long yoga class followed by Young the Giant and Cold War Kids. I ended up leaving mid yoga class so I can’t really comment on the rest of the night, but it was a nice event to unwind at.

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Honestly, the best part (for me) about the sunset festival was the fact that there were three people in t-rex costumes, two of which participated in yoga. LOL. Can you spot them in my pictures?

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Do you see what I see? LOL. 

If this was too long to read, here’s the short version. I had a blast at SeaWheeze and I already want to try and run it again next year. I recommend EVERYONE to run this race. They’ve already set the date too! It’ll be September 22, 2018. 🙂 The registration date hasn’t been released yet, but if I hear about it, I’ll let you know too.

So have you run SeaWheeze before? Or are there any amazing races I should know about? I already want to do another racecation. LOL. 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Hello AFC half. We meet again.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half 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. 

This year really is flying by. In only 5 short days, I will be running half marathon #17 at America’s Finest City half. This will be my second time running the race and I am definitely more prepared relative to when I first ran it two years ago. Yay for consistent running!

Anyway, I have three goals for this race.

  1. Don’t get injured – I just raced this past weekend and am still feeling the muscle fatigue from it. My muscles are sore and I’m having all sorts of aches and pains (rib pain – is that even a thing?, slight muscle calf discomfort, and some stomach pain) when I’m running. Yikes! I’m also still in the midst of training for the Chicago marathon so getting injured is something I absolutely need to avoid. I need to be in tip top shape for the marathon if I’m ever going to break 4 hours. That means taking it easy during this race.
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    AFC 2015 
  2. Beat my course PR – The first time I ran this race, I struggled A LOT. It was very humid and I wasn’t used to it. I was training in an air conditioned gym on a treadmill. LOL. This year, I’ve made sure to train in the same weather I’d be running races in. I don’t plan on beating my overall PR, because honestly I’m pretty sure I’d injure myself if I tried. I do want to try and beat my course PR though. This race holds the record for my slowest half marathon time so I do want to try and redeem myself. 🙂 BUT, if there are any signs of injury, goal #2 will be thrown out the window and and goal #1 will take priority.
  3. Enjoy the scenery and have fun – After running SeaWheeze in Vancouver, I think I have a more new found appreciation for scenic races. After living in San Diego almost my entire life, I think I’ve taken a lot of it for granted. San Diego is a really pretty city so I need to start appreciating that and what better way than by running through it.

Wish me luck!

If you want to run this race with me, you can use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” until Wednesday, 8/16/17 to get $20 off your entry online. You can also still register at the expo, but the code will not work then.

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running

Marathon Mondays – Week 9 of Chicago Marathon Training

It’s 9 weeks into the program and honestly if you’re still reading these recaps, I applaud you. LOL. I worry that these recaps can be kind of redundant especially if the workouts are all the same, but this recap, I have a treat for you at my expense. LOL. I completely broke down during Tuesday’s interval workout. Keep reading to find out why. 🙂

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (7 miles)7.5 miles

Two Mondays in a row where I didn’t feel sluggish. Hooray! My running group only runs from 3-6 miles so I headed over 20 minutes earlier and did 2 miles before the run started.

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Tuesday (4 x 1200 m with 1 mile WU and CD)3 x 1200 + 1 x 900 m with 1 mile WU and CD

And Tuesday is where I broke down. I had a really long day at work and got out a little later than expected. I was really stressed out, but I was still determined to get my interval done so I went out on the track and started. Most of the run went well, but on my last loop, my stomach just cramped up and I just hunched over and couldn’t run anymore. I started crying out of frustration and I just sat there for about 10 minutes trying to figure out if I should continue or not. I ended up not finishing the interval out of fear for my body and slowly jogged back to my office to grab my clothes and go home. Honestly, it was a really difficult moment for me. Running is something I know I can do. After a long day at work, it’s something I depend on to relieve tension so even a slight mishap like this one just broke me. I’m sure it also has to do with my impending defense Eek! Anyway, I finished the night with a pep talk to myself and decided that tomorrow was another day and it’d be fine. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)9.5 easy miles

Thursday was going to be full of traveling and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to run before my flight so I made the decision to switch my usual rest day with my “tempo run.” The run ended up being an easy run because my tempo run would actually be race day. The 9.5 miles were difficult. I could feel my body needing the rest, but I was determined to put in the miles so I took it really easy. It was supposed to be 10 miles, but I also wasn’t feeling that well so I cut it short.

Thursday (8 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest/Travel

Woohoo rest day! Made my way up to Vancouver.

Friday (5 easy miles)4.5 miles

Since Saturday was race day, I needed to do a shake out run. Hanson’s marathon method called for 5 miles so I upped and did an easy run. I was up in Vancouver with a friend and we ran part of the seawall together. It was a beautiful run and I honestly didn’t want it to end, but we got tired and decided to call it quits at 4.4 miles.

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Vancouver run time!

Saturday (8 miles)13.4 miles (tempo sort of)

Ran the SeaWheeze Half marathon, which I will recap sometime in the next two weeks. Trust me, it was amazing and you do not want to miss my recap.

Sunday (10 miles)3.7 miles

With all the sightseeing we had done in the previous two days, I could only manage a 3.7 mile recovery run instead of the 4.7 that I needed to finish the week’s scheduled mileage.

Total mileage (46 miles)45 miles

Considering that I was in another country for 3 of the days and had to move my running around quite a bit, I’m going to call this week a success. Hooray!

How do you rearrange your schedule when traveling? Do you run while on vacation?

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

Shine Bright – Knuckle lights Product Review (Discount code included)

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knuckle Lights 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. 

With the summer days being so hot and humid lately, I’ve had to resort to night running more and more often. Getting up in the morning is a possibility, but honestly, I’m a terrible morning person. LOL.

With night running, there are two main concerns –

  1. Being aware of your surroundings
  2. Being seen

I love running with music so to address the first concern, I wear my Trekz Titanium Aftershokz headphones. They have an open ear design, which allows me to hear my surroundings. I reviewed them here.

To address the second concern of being seen, I wear reflective tape and I now also use these Knuckle Lights. They are extremely useful and without further ado, my review.

Weight – I don’t like carrying anything with my hands. That’s why I use a hydration vest instead of carrying a handheld water bottle. Something about the extra weight bothers me. I’ve used these lights on several long runs already (10+) and I’ve had no problems with their weight. If anything, they help me remember to pump my arms when I run.

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Presenting my knuckle lights

Brightness – This is probably the biggest factor of why you’d get lights for your night run. The Knuckle Lights come with 2 lights per set and you get 120 total lumens given off. I did a comparison of my street with very little light at night versus with my street with the lights on. There’s a very big difference. Hopefully my pictures will give you a better idea as to the brightness. 🙂

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Without and with the Knuckle lights
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Using my lights on my soon to be night run
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My lights in my unlit room

Grip – If I’m going to run with something in my hand for a very long time, I need it to be secure. I’ve been known to fling things out of my hand because my grip isn’t that great. LOL. The Knuckle lights have soft silicone straps on it that can be adjusted to the size of your hand and it fits quite well. It also doesn’t chafe my hands, which is good.

Wear and tear – Only having used these for about a month, I can’t comment too much on the wear and tear portion, but I can say that these units are waterproof and can be run in the rain. Since it’s summer and it hasn’t rained, I sprinkled some water onto the lights (LOL) and have had no issues. Hooray. Also, these particular lights are powered by AA batteries. They also have a pair of rechargeable ones if those are more your style.

Price and variety – This pair will cost you $39.99, but if you order before 9/1/17, you can use the code “BRKL2017” to get 15% off your order. Plus, standard shipping is free for all U.S. orders. Yay. That code can be applied to any product. The non-rechargeable ones come in pink, black, and blue. The rechargeable ones come in black.

So there you have it, my review of my knuckle lights. If you have any questions pertaining to the product, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can also read what my fellow BibRavePros thought below.

Allison – Amy – Lindsey – Tedrick

Posted in Running, Thoughts

4 days til SeaWheeze

In 4 days, I’ll be able to say the following two things:

1. I ran Lululemon’s SeaWheeze half marathon.

2. And I ran it in another country.

Okay, Vancouver isn’t too far from San Diego, but I’m still counting it. 🙂 This race popped up on my radar sometime last year and after looking into it, it made it onto my bucket list race list.

Why you ask?

Well, I’m going to be honest with you here. A large part of it was because I heard it was so difficult to get into and trust me, it was. On Nov, 16, 2016, thousands of yogis/runners descended down on the SeaWheeze registration site and made it crash. LOL. I was one of those thousands of people and within minutes of registration opening, I was greeted with a webpage that said “Tickets have been sold out.” My jaw dropped as it was literally MINUTES into registration. I immediately went to their facebook page and asked if tickets were actually sold out. Turns out, they hadn’t. There was a glitch or glitches in their system. People were getting their credit cards rejected (despite typing the number in correctly), getting kicked out of the waiting room, or just getting the sold out webpage. After what seemed like a hundred refreshes on my computer, I was able to secure a ticket. Whew. I know. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real.

Tip #1: If you get redirected to a sold out webpage, hit refresh about a hundred times. You might get lucky and get onto the registration page. 

Other noteworthy things about the SeaWheeze race? Well, instead of the usual technical tee, you get a pair of Lululemon Seawheeze limited edition running shorts to train in over spring/summer. That’s right. They mail it to you.

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Lululemon shorts are so comfy, but why did these have to have eyes on them!?!?
Tip #2 Make sure to select the appropriate size of shorts when registering for the race. I chose the incorrect ones and they wouldn’t change the size even though I emailed them minutes after confirming my ticket. I have to wait until the expo to change out the size. Lame.

The post-race festival is one huge yoga party. Makes sense, right? SeaWheeze is organized by Lululemon afterall. What better way to celebrate than with stretching those weary muscles. I’m not a huge yoga person so this will be an interesting event to attend. This year, their headliner is Young the Giant with guests Cold War Kids. I’m not going to lie. I have no idea who these people are, but I’m set on having a good time anyway.

Oh and you know how most races will reveal their medals months in advance? Yeah, not SeaWheeze. You see your medal at the finish line. Hopefully it’s a good one this year. Last year’s was gorgeous.

Anyway, I have my lodging and flights booked, but have done no other planning. 😦 Planning is usually my favorite part, but because I’ve been so swamped with grad school, I haven’t had a chance to look into things.

So here’s where I need your help. Have you been to Vancouver and if you have, do you have any suggestions for things to do or places to eat at? I will only be there for a few days (2 full days) so time is limited so your top notch places to hit up would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance! 🙂 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 8 of Chicago Marathon Training

Wheeee and now I’m done with week 8 of Chicago marathon training. 9 weeks and counting until I run my second full marathon. YIKES!

(Scheduled)Actual mileage

Monday (5 miles)5 miles

This Monday was probably the first Monday in a while where I didn’t feel super sluggish. Hooray! Ran 5 miles with a group and called it a day.

Tuesday (5 x 1000 m with a 1 mile WU and CD)5 x 1000 m with a 1 mile WU and CD

About halfway through my intervals, I wanted to quit. LOL. A few weeks ago, someone told me that if you want to quit halfway through your intervals, you’re doing it right. Ever since then, it’s kind of stuck with me and I’ve embraced the suck. If I want to get faster, this is what I have to do.

Wednesday (Rest) Rest

Hallelujah. 🙂

Thursday (Tempo run 8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD

Thursday was busy, busy, busy, not to mention HUMID AS HELL. I had a lab meeting followed by a phone interview. (Look at me trying to make it out in the real world. LOL) Then it was just too hot and humid to run so I waited the heat out and the longer I waited, the less I wanted to run. This was my first 8 mile tempo run and I wasn’t sure I could do it. Doubt should be my middle name because during this whole training cycle, I’ve been doubting myself. Long story short, I NAILED MY TEMPO RUN. The splits were so close that I wanted to cry. LOL. Weather really does make a difference and I swear, I will never try to do a tempo run in hot weather (unless there was no other option) ever again.

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Hellooo tempo run!

Friday (6 miles) 5 miles

I had a few last minute plans come up so I had to run in the heat to make those plans. It was not pretty.

Saturday (5 miles)15.1 miles (I always swap Sat and Sun mileage b/c I just cannot run 13+ miles by myself)

My running partner’s legs weren’t feeling too great so she ended up only running 3 miles with me before she turned around. That left me to my own devices to try and entertain myself for the other 13. LOL. To make running more fun, I’ve been trying to enjoy the surroundings a bit more, which I think has actually made me a happier person overall. Hooray!

Anyway, to cover 15 miles, I had to be a bit creative. Movin’ Shoes sent us out on an out and back path that covered maybe 12 miles. Once I got to the point where I had to turn around, I started looping streets like a crazy person to make up the necessary mileage. I ran by a bunch of stores that I hadn’t seen before and I felt like a tourist. I even ended up passing by this really cool “Blah blah blah” sign while I was there.

 

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Sometimes you just gotta get away from all the Blah, blah, blah and just run. 🙂 

During the last two miles, it got hot and I definitely struggled, but I finished and that’s still a win in my book. 🙂

Sunday (15 miles)5.1 miles

My Saturday run wiped me out. I passed out around 10 pm and woke up 11 hours later not wanting to run. LOL. I ran anyway and it ended up being a nice run. I stopped at almost every mile to cool down, but it is what it is. 🙂

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Came across this “Turtle X-ing” sign; I can relate LOL

Weekly mileage (47 miles)47.1 miles


Thoughts of the Week: Don’t let doubt and fear stop you from what you want to accomplish. If you want it, you should go for it and oftentimes, you’ll surprise yourself at how far you can go. 🙂

This upcoming week will be difficult. I have to do some maneuvering of my schedule because I’ll be racing Seawheeze on Saturday and will be traveling Thursday and Sunday.

Question for my fellow runners: How is your training going? Any races coming up? Have any of you raced Seawheeze or even been to Vancouver? Suggestions welcome!