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, 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 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!

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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? 

Posted in Running, Training

Go away summer heat – it’s almost time for the San Diego Craft Classic!

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. 

Hooray! We are exactly one week until the San Diego Craft Classic half marathon! And judging from this past weekend’s weather of 80°F, I’m going to say that it’s going to be a warm one. LOL. Damn. I will probably be checking the forecast all week long in hopes that the temperature goes down. Ack. Thankfully, the half marathon starts at 6:30 am and I’m hoping it won’t heat up too quickly. My fingers will be crossed. 🙂

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Goal for this race: Training has been pretty consistent. I’ve maintained a weekly mileage of at least 21 miles a week for the past several months so I have a fairly strong base for the race. I think that this race’s goal will be to try and run the race somewhere between 2:00 and 2:10 though. I know I can run a sub 2 half, but I’ve decided on this goal for three reasons.

  • I don’t want to put myself at risk for heat stroke. I don’t fare too well in heat and humidity as indicated by my AFC race a few years ago. Preventing heat stroke will my main priority. If I feel myself overheating, I will definitely slow down or even start walking.
  • I will NOT be tapering this week. As wrong as it feels to not taper the week before a race, I’m trying to focus on the long game, which is to run the Chicago marathon with a sub 4 time. Hanson’s marathon method schedules me for 39 miles this week and I’m trying to stick to that as much as I can.
  • I need to continue marathon training. Again, this is my long game. I’m trying to treat this race as more of a training run. I will be running it a little harder than my easy runs because it is a race afterall, but I will try and pace myself so that I have enough energy to continue the runs for the upcoming week. 

Things I’m looking forward to: 

  • Medal – The medal is a BOTTLE OPENER! Sticking true to the theme of a beer run, the front of their medal is in the shape of a tap handle and the back is a bottle opener. I’m such a sucker for unique medals. 🙂img_0835
  • The hill at mile 10 to 11 – LOL. As crazy as it sounds, I am actually kind of excited to test my running skills on this hill. I just found out about this recently, but apparently there’s a massive hill and I want to see if my training has paid off. (I’m hoping it has).
  • Meeting up with friends – Some people I’ve been running my long runs with are signed up for this race so I’m excited to see some friendly faces among the crowd. 🙂
  • Finishing my 15th half marathon – Yep. I said it guys and gals. This will be my 15th half marathon. Yay! 🙂

If you haven’t signed up and want to sign up online, you can do so until Wednesday, July 12th. You can use the code BIBRAVEHALF for $10 off your half marathon entry fee or use code BIBRAVE5k for $5 off your 5k entry fee.

Question of the day: Have you run a summer race yet? How did it go? 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Chicago marathon training has commenced!

This is a week late, but Chicago marathon training has commenced! The Chicago marathon will be my second full marathon and I’m nervous as hell about training for it. Last year, I ran the NYC marathon and had an absolute blast. I wasn’t shooting for a particular time. I just wanted to finish, which I did. 🙂 This year, it’s time to shoot for the moon.

Since I’ve been getting faster the past six or seven months, I decided to try for an ambitious goal. I finished last year’s marathon in 4 hours 48 min and 49 seconds. This year, I’m hoping to shave down 49 minutes and run the Chicago marathon in under 4 hours. Holy crap, right? That means I would have to run a full 2 min/mile faster AND do it for 26.2 miles. O.M.G. I only started running sub 2 half marathons last December. I’m thinking about it now and this has got to be one of my craziest goals yet. I find myself giggling whenever I think or talk about it. It could be part nerves and part excitement. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s all nerves, but whatever. LOL. 

Marathon training has commenced and I’m going to try and put my best foot forward – literally. Last year, I tried to follow this Women’s Running plan. I ended up doing 3 out of the 4 runs a week and I think my peak mileage was 31 miles. This year, I’m following Hanson’s marathon, which emphasizes CUMULATIVE FATIGUE. I’m essentially running on tired legs for 17 weeks. LOL According to the plan, I’ll be hitting 57 miles during peak week. Yikes! The plan is actually 18 weeks and I started a week late, but that’s fine because I’m already starting off with a base mileage of 21 miles a week. 🙂 I’ll try my best to recap each week’s workouts, but since I’m also trying to graduate in August, I may miss a week or two. Hope you’ll forgive me. 🙂

Week 1 

Monday (Rest) – I actually did rest – unintentionally. I was coming back from vacation and didn’t get a chance to run. Luckily, it worked out for me since I wasn’t supposed to run anyway.

Tuesday (Easy 4 miles) – According to the Hanson plan, easy runs are supposed to be EASY. Since you’re running so much, you have to run a chunk of the miles at an easy pace. I’ve never really tried training this way so my first easy run kind of failed. My target pace was a 10:15 min/mile. I ran at an 8:17 min/mile. Oops. At least I hit 4 miles. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest) – Sooooo I did not run on Wednesday, but I did attend a free spin class and according to Hanson’s method, crosstraining is a big no no. LOL. But the class was free and I wanted to take advantage of it. Oh well. 🙂

Thursday (Easy 4 miles) – Ran 4 miles close to my target pace. Also, attended another spin class because, all the free classes end on Sunday. I had to make the most of it.

Friday (Easy 4 miles) – Ran 4 miles, but my pacing was all over the place. I ran for the first time in a sports bra and I was feeling very nervous about being judged so I ran faster to finish faster. Maybe I’ll get more comfortable just running in a sports bra one day. 🙂

Saturday (Easy 4 miles) – Nailed my pacing and mileage. Also, I took my last free spin class. 😦

Sunday (Easy 5 miles) – I had actually run a little more than 4 miles on the other days so I only had to run a little over 4 on Sunday to finish the week off with 21 miles. Hooray!

Sooooo can I actually do this? And the answer is that I honestly don’t know. I’m scared. This plan could completely blow up in my face, but I’m trying anyway. It’s better to shoot for the moon and land among the stars, right? 🙂

Have a great week everyone! 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

UltraBoostX – Running shoe review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Adidas Ultra Boost X 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!


If you told me when I was 10 that I’d have a closet full of shoes almost 20 years later, I’d laugh at you. I’ve never been interested in shoes. Heels were too difficult for me to walk in and sandals didn’t really give me the support I needed. To me, shoes were just shoes…or so I thought. As a more serious runner now, I’ve found that a good pair of running shoes can make or break your training.

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Those aren’t even all of my shoes. LOL

Here’s a short history of my running shoes: I started out with Brooks’ Ghost – a neutral shoe with cushioning (12 mm midsole drop) I ran through almost four pairs before giving another brand a try, not because they no longer worked for me, but because I had won a pair of New Balance shoes from a Strava challenge. I chose to try out the New Balance Vazee2090 – a neutral shoe with cushioning (6 mm midsole drop) and in all honesty, this shoe blew my mind. The Vazee2090s were more responsive and I got faster.

A responsive shoe means that the shoe is responding to the ground. It’ll allow you to spring faster after the initial contact with the ground. 


So when BibRave gave us the opportunity to try out the new Adidas’ UltraBoostXs – another neutral shoe (10 mm midsole drop) that praised to have the most responsive cushioning ever, I was 100% hands down to try them. Here’s a little bit more information about them.

UltraBoostX

The first look and feel: I’ve never had more people compliment me on my running shoes before. LOL. The UltraBoostXs are a hug for your feet. Seriously. Their Primeknit material wraps around your foot and leaves it feeling pretty breatheable. The only thing I don’t like about the material is that I do have to put more effort into putting on the shoe. I can’t just push my foot into the shoe and wiggle it into a good fit. With these, I have to hold the collar open and insert my foot in. The sole is made from Continental tire rubber. Yes, you read correctly. Tire rubber. They’re meant to last. I obviously can’t say how true this is because I’ve only run 30-40 miles on these, but it’s comforting to know they are made out of tire rubber. These shoes also have a free floating arch that adapts to your running style. This arch felt VERY different from previous running shoes and definitely took a lot of getting used to.

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The first 35 miles: For anyone trying out these shoes, I’d definitely walk around in them for a few miles before attempting any runs with them. Once you think you’re used to the floating arch, try running a few miles with them. Build up SLOWLY especially if you’re prone to injury. Like all running shoes, you should take the time to break them in properly or else you’ll risk injury. I made the mistake of taking these shoes out on an uphill 10k run and pulled a hamstring because of that. I’ve run on tracks, roads, and relatively flat trails and have found these shoes to work well on all of them. I would advise against running on any rocky trails. I found that the shoes don’t work very well on uneven surfaces. Personally, I find the shoes to not be as responsive as the Vazee2090s, but it could be that I haven’t fully broken in the shoes.img_9500

My overall experience with these have been a positive one. They’re wonderful to walk in and I’m sure these shoes will get better to run in over time. I will be putting these shoes into my rotating shoe schedule for marathon training this summer. Who knows? Maybe I’ll end up running my marathon with them. 🙂img_9891

If you’re interested in purchasing these shoes, you can find them here at Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask me. I’ve also included a list of reviews from my fellow BibRavePros on the shoes below. 

Adidas UltraBOOST X reviews
Jeannine – Heather – AmyJenna – LindseyAngieEmily – Heather

What are your favorite pair of running shoes?