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.
    IMG_3924
    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 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.

FullSizeRender
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. 🙂

IMG_1313
Without and with the Knuckle lights
IMG_1483
Using my lights on my soon to be night run
IMG_1514
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.

img_1611
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.

img_1483
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.

 

img_1552
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. 🙂

img_1575
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!

Posted in Running, Thoughts

It’s Heating Up – Wrapping up July

I feel like I’m writing this monthly recaps every other week! I guess time flies when you’re swamped with work. LOL. I did have a bit of fun too. Oh and running, there was a lot of running involved.

Graduate School – July will be my last full month as a graduate student. My defense is set for Wednesday, August 23rd and can I say that I’m STRESSED BEYOND BELIEF. I’m still busily writing my dissertation. It’s a bit frustrating to read pages and pages of findings only to summarize it in two or three sentences. Although I’m not making bounds of progress, I’m making progress and that’s all that matters. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m also in the midst of applying for jobs as well and well, you know how that goes.

Comic-Con – If you didn’t know, I consider myself a nerd. I grew up playing video games (Final Fantasy, Diablo II, Heroes of Might and Magic, Street Fighter, etc) and nowdays, you can find me playing board games (Bang, Machi Koro, King of Tokyo, etc). I used to watch a few animes and am now more interested in super heroes. So when registration for Comic-Con came out, you know I had to try and get a ticket. Luckily, I got one. 🙂

I even cosplayed for the event. Made my costume completely from scratch (minus the wig). I started out with a white shirt, dyed it with RIT-dye, cut it up, and made my mask (on my head) with paper mache.

IMG_1139
I’m Nelliel from Bleach!
I had a blast walking around the exhibition hall looking at all the cool artwork and seeing all the other cosplays. I didn’t see any famous people this time around, but I did meet up with LOTS of people (even one cool community manager from BibRave who came all the way from Australia!). Below are some of the cool things I saw.

IMG_1396
(Left to right, top to bottom) Lumpy Space Princess aka Erin from BibRave; Liana Hee artwork; Gogo, Hiro, and Honey Lemon; Vuduberi artwork; Aku Aku from Crash Bandicoot (LOVE THIS GAME), and a lot of Yummy World plushies

IMG_1395
(Left to right, top to bottom) Star Lord and Mantis, Deadpool, Pikachu, Big Boy, one of the professors from Pokemon (who actually gave out miniature pokemon!), and Aladdin

IMG_1397
(Left to right, top to bottom) Autumn Fredrickson artwork , Mega Construx Pokemon, a Gudetama plushie, Rick and the Butter robot from Rick and Morty, and Crabapple and Pork chomp plushies from Inki-drop
Running – I LOGGED 158 MILES THIS MONTH! Yes, you read that right. With marathon training, I almost doubled the mileage I was running in previous months and never did I think I was capable of logging that many miles in a month. I would see everyone’s monthly mileage and think, wow, they’re insane. And now, I’m one of the insane ones. I kind of like it. LOL. In other running news, I ran my 15th half marathon this month at the San Diego Craft Classic. Oh, I also registered a team for the SoCal Ragnar Relay so that’s happening next April. Oh man, what did I do? Have I gone insane? Probably, but I think it’s a good kind of insane. 🙂

How was your July? 

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. 😦

IMG_0928

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, 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. 🙂

IMG_0915

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