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 Thoughts, Training, Running, BibRave Reviews

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? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Half #14 here I come

Yes, it’s that time again: the week leading up to a half marathon, the San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon to be exact. I’m not going to lie; I’m pretty excited about it. I didn’t race at all this month and I’ve been missing the racing atmosphere terribly. Maybe that’s why I’ve been doing more social runs lately; so that I can be around people when I run. LOL. I’ll also be meeting some online bloggers for the first time so I’m pretty stoked about that too.

Anyway, today’s post is a bit of a ramble. I’ve been feeling more confident with running as the months go by. I’ve managed to maintain my average of 21 miles a week and this past weekend, I logged almost 24 miles! I also ran every day this week, not because I was obligated to, but because I genuinely wanted to. Every day this past week, I woke up wanting to run. I didn’t necessarily run in the morning, but the feeling was there. At night before I fell asleep, I thought about how many miles I could feasibly run the next day. It’s kind of crazy. I might be enthusiastic to run because I’ve been so stressed out about my pre-thesis committee meeting that I’m using running to keep my stress level in check.

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Running around
Or maybe it’s because I’ve run for 3 years now and running has now become a part of me. And you know what? I love it. I love talking to people about running (probably a little too much) and I love encouraging others to run. 🙂

Speaking of which, if you are visiting the health and fitness expo on Saturday, let me know! I’ll be volunteering at the HoneyStinger booth from 1 – 3 pm and we’re giving out free samples. 🙂 Come say hi! 

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My personal HoneyStinger collection – can you tell I love them? 

 

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 Running, Thoughts, Training

Go away cold. I have a half marathon to run.

I have been super fortunate to not have gotten sick or injured during the past two race seasons. This year, I wasn’t so lucky. I was doing fine, kicking ass you might say, until this month. A lot went on in February and I will admit, my body could only endure so much.

Last Thursday, I woke up with a sore throat. There were no sniffles that came with it and so I shrugged it off and blamed it on the charred steak I ate the night before. The rest of the day, my skin began to feel clammy and I felt fatigued. Luckily, I made it to end of the work week and rested…sort of. Friday night, I may have driven to LA to attend a friend’s birthday party at GloZone LA and I may have lost the rest of my voice that night, but really, those are just small details. LOL.

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Playing mini golf in the dark

On Saturday and Sunday, I basically sounded like a man…or a very seductive raspy sounding woman. I’m not really sure. Anyway, I drank hot lemon water and tea with honey and echinacea all weekend long. Monday flies by and Tuesday morning, I wake up with a lot of phelgm build up. TMI, right? I’ll spare you the details. In short, I haven’t been feeling too well.

Despite being sick, I still have been able to do my daily maintenance runs (averaging 3 miles). Why on earth would I still run, you ask? Well, because I’m sort of a sadist. Kidding. I ran because I had to complete my 100 day run streak. Day 100 fell on Friday and so I ran Thursday and Friday while sick. In all honesty, it wasn’t too bad. And when day 101 came around, I just couldn’t bring myself to stop…damn. What have I gotten myself into? I guess we’ll just see when I finish my streak.

Also, the San Diego half marathon is this Sunday and I’m determined to run it ill or not. I prefer to not be ill, but it will be what it will be. The SD Half is in its 6th year running and I’m excited to run it because I’ve never run it before. If you run this race along with the Mammoth half marathon (in June), you get a special challenge medal too. They’re both very scenic races and unfortunately, I will only be running the SD half this year. There are too many races and not enough time and money. Hashtag runnerproblems, right? The SD half also happens to fall on the day where Daylight Savings Time occurs so it’ll be interesting how my body adjusts to the time change. I, for one, am grateful for the time change. I love being able to run in the evenings without it being super dark out. Woohoo.

So that’s the update with me. How are you doing? Do anything fun last weekend? Looking forward to anything this weekend? And last but not least, wish me a speedy recovery. 🙂

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Happy Monday! – A recap of last week’s shenanigans

Hi guys and gals! It’s a new week. Let’s get excited, shall we? It’s another week to get stuff done and become a better version of you. 🙂 Let’s do this!

Last week was full of delicious food and good friends. Mendicino farms, an LA based sandwich restaurant, opened up in my area and I was able to snag a complimentary meal for me and 3 of my friends during their training session. Woohoo! Free food!

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At Mendicino Farms

I also went to a Yelp event at Hard Rock Cafe and had a blast eating and mingling with fellow yelpers.

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At Hard Rock Cafe for a Yelp event

I also had a holiday lab lunch at Piatti‘s with my colleagues. No picture with my colleagues, but I did snap a photo of my delicious meal.

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Linguini with mussels, clams, fish, calamari in a tomato basil sauce

On my running progress, I’m doing a lot better than previous weeks. I think my running mojo has returned. Hooray! I logged in 31.1 miles last week. That’s on par with my marathon training schedule so I’m a happy runner. 😀

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My mileage last week

It’s amazing what happens when I challenge myself. 🙂 If you remember from my last post, I’m doing quite a few of them to make sure I don’t slack off this holiday season. I’m halfway through my #RWRunStreak and 1 hour and 10 minutes away from completing the NorthPoleRunClub (NPRC) challenge. Running everyday has been extremely challenging (I guess that’s why they call it a challenge), but I’m doing it. 🙂 It also helps that I have extra challenges to complete so I have more of an incentive to do it. I checked 2 more items off the #RunChatHunt during my long run too.

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My runner sticker on a car entry

My running will decrease this week as I’m tapering for the San Diego Holiday Half. BOO. It’s for the best though. I need to rest up for the race. bjm4nyeimaajrdz

So there you have it, my recap of last week’s shenanigans.

How was your week? Did you do anything fun? Any races you’re looking forward to? 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Training

40 Thoughts I had during the NYC Marathon

Last week, I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. It was the furthest I ever ran. It was also the longest. For 4 hours 48 minutes and 49 seconds, I placed one foot in front of the other and during that time, you can bet that I had some crazy and not so crazy thoughts. Here they are from start to finish.thoughtslist

I might have missed a few thoughts along the way, but overall, my thoughts were positive. It kept my spirits up and I felt invincible when I crossed the finish line. Obviously, the pain set in after the adrenaline was gone, but it was worth it.

What kind of thoughts do you have while running?