Posted in Running, Thoughts

Ahhhh! It’s Taper Time for the La Jolla Half.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the La Jolla 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. 

Yes, that time has come again. Tapering. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I personally LOVE it. A week where you can decrease your mileage in preparation for a race. Woohoo! My tapering strategy has changed over the years and I just wanted to say that I am in no way telling anyone how to taper. I’m still figuring it out and it’s a lot of trial and error.

When I first started out, I was doing cardio kickboxing three to four times a week with short 3 mile runs in between. My kickboxing trainer told me to start resting on Wednesdays for a Sunday half. That sounded good to me. Less running? Hell yeah. LOL. Nowadays, my taper week goes a little something like this. I run the bulk of my miles on Monday and Tuesday. This usually ranges from three to six miles depending on how I feel. On Wednesday and Thursday, I try for shorter mile runs and on Friday, I rest. On Saturday, I do a three mile run to shake out my legs and on Sunday, I’m ready to go. I usually average 21 miles a week. The week leading up to a half, I average maybe 8 to 9 miles. *Edit* I know the total taper week plus the race equals 21 or 22 miles. LOL. Maybe it’s not a taper week at all? I’m still new at this! Only three years running. I’ll figure it out soon enough. 🙂 

Now my training for the La Jolla Half hasn’t been too bad. With all the races I’ve signed up for this year, I don’t really have a structured training plan for halfs. (The only structured training plans I’ll have for this year is for the Chicago marathon and for the Dopey Challenge too.) As mentioned earlier, I try to average 21 miles a week and some weeks, I go over and some weeks, I miss my target mileage by a lot. The last week of March and the first week of April wasn’t too kind to me mileage wise. I blame a lack of motivation, injury, and life. LOL.

All of that changed last week. Can you guess why?

A strava challenge started. Haha. I’m definitely the competitor type and the Runner’s World Boston Challenge was just what I needed to kick my butt back into gear. From April 8 to 17, I had to run 26.2 miles. Here was my initial thought process:

Run 26.2 miles in 9 days? Sure. Why not? Totally doable.

*2 days later*

Hmm. When did that challenge start again?

*Looks at challenge*

Oh crap. It started 4 days ago. I’ve skipped two days of running already. Hmm, should I still try for it? You at least ran 3.1 miles on Sunday. That’s still something. You got 23.1 miles to go and 6 days to do it. That’s 4 miles a day. That’s doable…I think. 

It is now April 18 and I’m proud to tell you that I finished that challenge two days ago! Woohoo! IMG_8848

Although I haven’t done any long runs in a month, I’m hopeful that my mileage the past few weeks will get me through the La Jolla Half Marathon this weekend. 🙂 Wish me luck!

If you still haven’t registered for the La Jolla Half marathon and would like to run it Sunday, April 23, use the code “BIBRAVE20” for $20 off their registration fee! 

Posted in Thoughts

My 100 Happy Day Project

If you remember back in January, I posted my resolutions for the year. As expected, most of those have kind of fallen by the wayside, but that’s okay. I’m still working on more than half of them and that’s still a win in my book.

Today’s post will focus on one resolution in particular – my 100 happy day project. You may or may not have heard of it, but it’s a very simple project. For 100 days, you take a minute or two out of your day and reflect on something that made you happy that day. It can be something small. Something someone said. Someone opening the door for you or even just a sunset that made you feel at peace. The purpose of the project is to help you focus on the positive things in your life. Don’t dwell on the negatives, but reflect on the positives. That’s what will keep you going.

A few years ago, I did this project. I was going through a really bad break up at the time and was in a complete rut. I was going to therapy, taking medications, and nothing seemed to work. So when I came across someone else’s happy day project, I decided to try it. For those 100 days, I took photos and videos of food, friends, and activities that I did and posted them on social media. The project doesn’t require you to. You can keep it completely confidential if you choose to do so. I chose to post on social media to keep me accountable. With each photo and video that I took, I felt better about myself and my situation. I really believe I came out a stronger person after the project was over.

I haven’t been having the best outlook on life lately, so I decided it would be a good time to begin a new 100 happy day project. 🙂 This time around, I will be recording myself recapping things that made me happy that day. It’s not as exciting as pictures, but I find that if I say it out loud, I believe it more. I’m almost two weeks into my project and I definitely feel more appreciative of things I have in my life. I may or may not show the entire 100 clips on here since I think that would be too long, but I may post a few here and there for you to listen to.

I will end this post with pictures from my first 100 happy day project. Oh how much I’ve grown since then. 🙂

So tell me, have you heard of the 100 Happy Day project or done something similar? What was your take on it? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

The Carlsbad5000 – Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock N Roll’s Carlsbad5000 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. 

It happened. I didn’t think it could, but it did. Today, I beat my personal record of 24 minutes and 36 seconds with a time of 23 minutes and 47 seconds. Yay!

I genuinely believed that I couldn’t beat my personal record going into the race. For the past few weeks, my motivation to run dramatically decreased. Remember the plan I had for last week? Yeah, I barely did any of it.

Monday – 5.5 miles

Tuesday – 4.5 miles 3 miles

Wednesday to Friday – 2 to 3 miles a day zero miles

Saturday – 2.6 miles

The plan was to get the bulk of my miles in on Monday and Tuesday. Everything went according to plan on Monday and I was feeling good. I ran out of time on Tuesday and only managed 3 miles. I had some unpleasant news drop on me Tuesday night and I was out of commission emotionally Wednesday through Friday. I guess you could call that tapering in a way. Saturday, I came to the realization that despite encouraging others to sign up for the race, I, myself, hadn’t signed up for it. Wow. I couldn’t believe it. Luckily, there was race day registration and I decided that I would just sign up the morning of and it’d be fine. I managed a 2.6 mile shake out run that day as well in hopes that I wouldn’t feel too terrible on race day.

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Race Day Essentials

Race morning came. I ate an organic HoneyStinger waffle for breakfast and got myself to the race. Parking wasn’t too bad and I found a spot within a few minutes and made my way over to the registration area. Note that parking isn’t too big of an issue for the Carlsbad5000 because of the way the 5k races are spaced out. You only really need to show up an hour before your start time and by the time you get there, other runners will have already left giving you parking space. 🙂

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Ran into a HoneyStinger Truck on my way to registration. Yay HoneyStinger!

Registration was a breeze. I just walked up to a computer, swiped my driver’s license, swiped my credit card, and got my bib. I have never come across an easier registration process. Because registration was a lot faster than anticipated, I still had about an hour before my start time and decided to stay and watch the race before me (Master’s Women Ages 40 and Over).

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A successful jumping photo on the first try!

While I was waiting, I heard the announcer say that the fastest time achieved on this course for men was a 12 minutes and 59 seconds and the fastest time for women was a 14 minutes and 46 seconds. I kind of stood there in disbelief that there were people that fast out there. It definitely put me to shame.

Anyway, after the women ages 40 and up started their race, I ran into a friend from college. We caught up and as the sun came out, I started to feel a bit better about the race. I started to believe that maybe I could do it, but also believed that it’d be okay if I didn’t PR. The goal was to just enjoy the race and not quit.

The race itself was awesome. I’ve been really fortunate to be able to repeat a few of the races that I first ran 3 years ago. Back then, I only concentrated on finishing. That was the goal. I was so set on proving that I could do something that I forgot to “sit back” and enjoy the course. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still set on finishing each race, but I’ve found that taking in all the sights is a really a great way to see a city (and enjoy the race), even if I’ve lived in it almost all my life. We started the race by crossing some train tracks, then turned left on Carlsbad Boulevard and headed towards the infamous Carlsbad sign. I was moving my little legs as fast as I could, dodging people left and right. There was a bit of a bottleneckat the beginning, but once we were on Carlsbad Boulevard, it cleared up a bit. Mile 1 had passed easily and my strava app announced that I was running at a 7:23 min/mile. At that point, I had an “oh crap” moment. I started out way too fast. I somehow reasoned to myself that if I could just keep the pace for another mile, maybe it’d be okay. If I gassed out during the last mile, maybe it wouldn’t matter as much and I could still PR. So I kept going and pumped my arms as fast as I could. While on the course, we got to see views of the Pacific Ocean and I thought that it was a shame I didn’t visit the ocean more often. I assure you, that will change this summer. We then made a U-turn and made our way back up the street. This is when I started to gas out. I was having a hard time breathing and people were passing me, but I just told myself to give it everything I had left and ran to the finish line. At the finish line, I was greeted with this pretty medal and post-race goodies.

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I was also one of the first 250 finishers. 🙂

I was so happy to get that medal that I had almost forgotten to stop my Strava tracking. When I did check my Strava data, I was in shock. I had PRed again! Hooray! Maybe it is all in my head? I don’t really know. I’m just eternally grateful for this fortunate event.

Anyway, back to the medal. If all medals were like this, I’d run all the races. It’s a smaller medal, but I don’t mind it at all. I think the size actually adds to its appeal. Post-race goodies included an orange, water, gatorade, crackers, and some other refueling items I didn’t get. After finishing, I skipped the beer garden and caught up with some friends that came to cheer me on.

The Carlsbad5000 was a great way to kick off April and with the way that March ended for me, this was something that I desperately needed. Maybe next year, I’ll be crazy enough to do the all day 20k. IMG_8527

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Run any races? Or just tell me a random fact about yourself. 🙂 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The End of March and my Run Streak

March is ending and so is my run streak. Well, actually, it ended already. I just didn’t announce it. Let’s recap shall we?

Networking – Yes, I kicked off March with another round of networking events. I met with someone at Technical Support for an informational interview and gathered quite a bit of helpful information. I think I’m narrowing it down a bit everyone. 🙂 I also attended a speed networking event held by AWIS, the association of women in science. I learned a lot and hope to continue meeting new people from the field.

GloZone LA – I took a night trip to LA to celebrate a friend’s birthday at GloZone LA. Glozone LA is a glow in the dark play area. For a few hours there, we were able to play mini golf, laser tag, and rock climb and because we went during adult night, there weren’t any children running around. It was just grown up fun. That day also happened to be the day I came down with a nasty respiratory infection. Screaming to someone standing right next to you because it’s too loud does wonders for your throat.

Medieval Times – When I was in middle school, our class took a field trip to Medieval Times. There was jousting, sword fights, and food. The boyfriend has always wanted to go so I decided to take him here before he leaves for Texas for a year. It was everything I remembered it to be and more. The food was delicious. I had a cup of tomato bisque, some garlic bread, “baby dragon” aka roasted chicken, and soda. The best part of the food was that it was eaten without utensils. Medieval to the end! 🙂 The knights were extremely guilty of bad acting, but I actually found that more enjoyable. Unfortunately, our knight didn’t do so well in the jousting round and he was the first to die. We cheered for him anyway. 🙂 

More Escape Rooms – Even though February’s escape room scared the crap out of me, I’ve been hooked on escape rooms since then. I did two more this month – one at QuickSand Escape Games and one at Escapology, both of which are in San Diego. QuickSand Escape Games is my favorite escape game. I’ve been to two of their rooms and I can’t wait until their third comes out. The puzzles are extremely logical and the decor is true to their theme. We were able to escape Escapology, which I thought, was a bit easier because it is a chain and is probably geared towards families. The one thing I reallly liked as Escapology was that there is a ranking system based on the time you get out. We were able to get out with a little over 13 minutes to spare and were the top team that week. Woohoo. I think we’re ranked 24 overall, which is still pretty awesome. 🙂 Again, if you haven’t done an escape room yet, please try it out. They’re so fun. I’ve already done six. LOL.

San Diego Half Marathon – I ran one race this month and it was the SD Half. Read all about it here. Spoiler alert – I beat my PR. 🙂

Run Streak – On Thanksgiving day, I started the Runner’s World Run Streak challenge. The challenge required that you run at least 1 mile a day everyday until the first of January. On the first, I decided I would keep going and see how long I could last. The answer was 120 days. This month was kind of a rough month for me personally, with a lot of unexpected changes and looming deadlines, and on day 121, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I’m sure that I could have run a mile on day 121 because I actually did run on the following day, but I just didn’t want to anymore. It felt more like a chore the longer I did the streak and to be honest, I actually feel happier since I am now choosing to run because I want to and not because I have to. I don’t regret participating in the run streak and I admire anyone who does them. It takes a lot of time and effort and the people who do them are amazing. I learned a lot and will recap in a later post.

Mileage – I fell short of my goal this month and was able to only run 81.6 miles, 1.4 miles shy of my goal. I was struggling a lot with personal issues this month and it really affected my running to the point where I have wanted to just stop running altogether. Here’s hoping that April will be a better month for me.

So that was my March. How was your March? Do anything interesting? What’s in store for your April? 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

Do you Smellwell? – Product Review

Disclaimer: I received SmellWell 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. 

Do you remember the lyrics to “Low” by Flo Rida? It came out a decade ago and I still remember the iconic lyrics

“Shawty had them Apple Bottom Jeans (jeans)
Boots with the fur (with the fur)
The whole club was lookin’ at her”

Why bring that up? Well, I hate to admit it, but I was one of those girls. Yes. Me. I had the boots with the fur. LOL. In my defense, I got those boots a few years before that song came out. I thought I was so cool. LOL. Anyway, I brought those boots with me to college freshmen year and boy, did those boots cause some fights among my roommates, but not because of the physical boots. It was because of how they made my feet smell like CRAZY after a few hours of wearing them. My feet would sweat and all that bacteria would stay in my boots. I would always have to wash my feet thoroughly to get rid of the smell and I’m pretty sure that the smell just got worse overtime because I couldn’t wash them.

After trying out SmellWell for a few weeks, I now know that I could have easily solved the smell/bacteria issue in my boots with these pouches. Damn’t! Ten years too late. I could have avoided so much drama back then. LOL. IMG_8070

Anyway, Without further ado, here’s my breakdown of the pros and cons.

Pros

Removes moisture and odor – If you know anything about bacteria and fungi, you’ll know that they LOVE a moist environment. These pouches are designed to remove moisture and prevents bacteria from growing in your shoes. It might not be as obvious in running shoes since socks are used to wick away moisture, but it’s very obvious in ballet flats. I actually stopped wearing my flats and put them away in a corner of my desk hoping that the smell would go away. A few weeks would go by and the smell would still be there so I just gave up. I put them away in a corner and forgot about them.

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When I got these pouches, I remembered my flats problem and decided to give the pouches a shot. I wore the flats for a few days and of course they started smelling again. I would put the pouches in at the end of the day and by the next morning, they’d smell great again.

Versatility – These smellwell pouches don’t have to be used in just shoes. I do cardio kickboxing from time to time and sweat A LOT in my gloves. I just put the pouches in my gloves after a sweaty one hour work out, let them sit there for a night, and ta-da, I had really nice smelling gloves. LOL. I know it sounds silly – making my gloves smell nice, but I actually throw my gloves, wraps, and clean clothes into one bag and if I can decrease bacteria exposure, I will. I haven’t been traveling lately, but you can bet that I will DEFINITELY be using these in my travel bag. 🙂

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They fit great into my kickboxing gloves
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To keep the dirty clothes smell to a minimum; also, because I sometimes don’t do laundry in time and I need to re-wear a smelly top

Shelf life – These babies last approximately 3 – 4 months depending on what you’re putting them into. The more moisture these pouches soak up, the shorter the life span so unless you absolutely need to put them in wet shoes, don’t. I haven’t personally tested them in rained on shoes, but I have a feeling they probably work fine.

Variety: These pouches do not come in varying sizes, but varying colors! They have zebra patterns, camo, and if you just want a plain one, they have black, which is the one I chose. Each order comes with two pouches, one for each shoe, glove, skates, etc.

Cons

Size: They only have one size, which could be a problem if you have something larger that needs a lot of deodorizing. Maybe a spray would be better in that case?

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me about these or come talk to the rest of the #bibchat (Twitter) crew on Tuesday, April 4th at 6 pm PST. They also have a Spring promotion right now where you buy 3 and get 1 free! 🙂 Get them for all the smelly people in your life. Haha. Just kidding. Sort of.

Also, here’s what other BibRave Pros had to say about them.

Lindsey – Katherine

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

My plan for Carlsbad5000

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock N Roll’s Carlsbad5000 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 upcoming weekend, I will be running the Rock N Roll Carlsbad5000. EEK! I’m pretty nervous about this race since training didn’t really go according to plan. Life kind of just happened and my mileage and motivation to run significantly decreased this month. 😦

When I originally signed up for the 5k, my plan was to try and beat my personal record. I haven’t PRed in the 5k distance in almost three years and I thought it might be time to try and PR again. I had also been beating PRs in longer distances so why not the 5k?

Well, I may have bit off a little more than I could chew. My current PR for the 5k is a 24:36. This means that I averaged a 7:55 min/mile for 3.1 miles. Holy crap. My training runs haven’t been anywhere close to that pace. I can usually hold that pace for a mile and a half and then I gas out. Sigh. If anything, I hope to at least beat my previous course record, which is 25:15. Fingers crossed.

The plan this week

  • Monday – Tuesday: Run the bulk of my miles (~10-12)
  • Wednesday: Begin tapering
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Pick up my bib and swag and do a shakeout run to get rid of nerves and loosen my muscles

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    The design on the Carlsbad5000 shirt. Isn’t it pretty?
  • Sunday (Race day): Give it my all and hope for the best

Eek! Wish me luck! How about you? Are you racing this weekend? How are you kicking off April?  

 

 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

San Diego Half Marathon (Half #12) – Race Report

Welp. I’ve had 2 crappy recovery runs this week and despite my legs feeling like lead and my inability to breathe very well on those two runs, I will say that my half marathon over the weekend was still a success. If you didn’t see my social media posts, I beat my personal record! AGAIN! By 44 seconds. YAY!

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My splits and ranks
That may not seem like much to anyone, but I’m overjoyed by it, for a few reasons actually.

1. I PRed in December. That was only 3 months ago. I didn’t think I would PR so soon after.

2. My previous personal record was on a course that had a net drop of 714 ft from start to finish. I honestly thought that net drop was the only reason I PRed, not necessarily because I was actually fast.

3. I PRed while SICK! You might have remembered that last week, I got sick and was trying really hard to recover to 100%. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The morning of, I was still kind of phlegmy and decided to only eat a Honey Stinger organic salted caramel flavored waffle and hope that it’d be enough to sustain me for the half. I normally eat peanut butter with it as well, but since I was having a hard time breathing, I decided to not eat something that might clog my throat.

4. The San Diego Half Marathon has this notorious hill that increases in elevation to about 300 ft (starting from 3 ft). It’s nicely situated at mile 8 where all big hills should be. It also lasts for about 2 miles. Hooray?!?

Anyway, here’s my report of how it all went down from bib pick up to post finish line party.

Bib Pick Up: Friday evening, I drove to the Navy Pier and picked up my bib with no problem. The SD Half Marathon is always on the same day as Daylight Savings Time and so there were reminders in our bag to set our clocks an hour ahead.

Night before: I had pizza the night before my 10 mile race in January and since my stomach seemed to agree with it and since I had placed in my age group, I decided why not? Luckily, it sat well with me and I was able to use it as fuel for the next morning. Woohoo. I also laid out my ensemble and called it an early night. IMG_8221

Pre-Race: Morning of, I got my things and headed to a trolley station, where I would take the trolley down to the start line. I would suggest this for anyone running a race. Taking public transportation to the start line helps out so much with reducing stress level because you’re not dealing with traffic.

Anyway, I got there, dropped off my bag at gear check, and met up with someone from Twitter that I had chatted with before. It was my first time meeting up with a fellow runner from Twitter and I was super nervous about it. Turns out, she was really nice and we’re actually meeting up again next month for another half marathon. 🙂

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This is Andrea. This was her 49th half marathon. 🙂
After a bit of chit chat, I made over to corral 5 and waited for the release of each corral. It was such great race weather – foggy with no sun in sight. 🙂

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Wheee. Almost there!
Race: And then I was off! I typically try to start off slow, but that just wasn’t happening that day. I got really excited and started dodging people so that I could get a nice clear path. I do have to give the organizers credit for spacing all the corrals out. I was able to get a nice clear path only after a few dodges. The race was beautiful. The first five miles were on the water and so I saw a lot of boats on the marina. Once we turned inland, we started headiing through the different neighborhoods of San Diego (Liberty Station, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, the edge of Balboa Park, and back to Downtown).

From talking to friends, I knew there was a hill at mile 8. How big of a hill was it? Well, let’s just say I really regret not checking that elevation map. The hill looked massive, in part because there was a lot of fog rolling through the city. I couldn’t see the top of the hill and that made it all the more mentally challenging. I pumped my arms, exchanged glances with other runners struggling with the same challenge, and slowly made my way through. Once I made it over that hill and then some, I gunned for the finish line. I didn’t know my exact time, but I just knew I had to keep running or else regret missing a PR. Luckily, it’s mostly downhill from miles 11 – 13.1 and I just ran as fast as I could through the streets of downtown. It was very peaceful running by the giant buildings covered with fog. Funnily enough, the fog cleared up just as I crossed the finish line. It had to be a sign because I looked down to see my Strava give me another sub 2 hour half marathon. 🙂 I was so happy, I cried a little.

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At the finish line with my newest medal. 
Post-race: The announcers were really upbeat and with the sun just coming out, I relished in the moment of finishing. The volunteers were very organized and after grabbing a tote with all the goodies already inside, I was on my way out.

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Yum. The Dole was my favorite. 
Since I typically run races alone, I don’t stay for the post-race festivities for too long. There’s something sad about eating a giant breakfast burrito alone. Instead, I caught the next trolley back and made it back to a nice comfy bed. IMG_8241

So there you have it – my race report of my 12th half marathon. Up next is the Rock N Roll Carlsbad5000, followed by a local 5k put on by my university, and the La Jolla Half marathon in April. How about you? Do you have any races coming up? Anything you’re looking forward to?