Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Races for 2018 Coming Right Up – Spartan Socal Super and Hot Chocolate 15k

It’s already midway through January and I feel like I’m already behind. LOL By this time last year, I already had a list of most of the races I’d be running. This year, I’ve only scheduled half of the races. To date, I’ve scheduled my races up to June with my fall calendar completely open. Still looking for a nice fall marathon. 🙂 Any recommendations? Maybe CIM? I need a large marathon. I can’t be at mile 20 and feel completely alone. I need other runners to keep me going. 🙂

Anyway, let’s talk about a few of my races coming up. As you all know, I already ran 4 races in 2018. Those races would be the Walt Disney World 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon. Woohoo, I’m already ahead of the game. I will have those recaps out shortly.

Next up is the Spartan SoCal Super at the end of this month. If you don’t know what a Spartan race is, think of it as an obstacle course, one really intense obstacle course. LOL. They have three types of events – the sprint, super, and beast and they vary by distance and # of obstacles. I had won a free race entry from Colby awhile back and decided to test my limits by signing up for the super, which consists of 8-10 miles of running with 25+ obstacles. TWENTY FIVE! Holy crap. And for obstacles that you cannot complete, the penalty is 30 burpees! Soooooo either I’m going to die from this event or I’m going to come out of it super buff. LOL. Let’s hope for the latter.

Spartan obstacle course
Uh, I have to do that??? 

After the Spartan, I will have about two or three weeks to recover before getting back into the grind of training for the HotChocolate 15k race in San Diego on March 18th, 2018!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the HotChocolate 15k – San Diego 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 ran this race in 2016 and I had such a blast. I mean, why not run for chocolate? The Hot Chocolate series is probably one of the most worth it races in terms of bang for your buck. Registration starts around $60 if you’re an early bird and for that amount of money, you get a sweet pullover, chocolate goodies on the course and after the course (Hello marshmallows and banana dipped in chocolate YUM), and a shiny nice medal in the shape of a chocolate bar. Nom Nom Nom! They also introduced something new this year. For people who have run a specific Hot Chocolate race multiple years in a row, they now have the legacy program! Below are the details:

3 year- legacy novelty bib, legacy beanie and 3-year legacy medal
5 year- legacy novelty bib, legacy beanie, commemorative photo frame, and 5-year legacy medal
10 year- legacy novelty bib, legacy beanie, commemorative frame including your 10-year legacy medal, a full VIP race-day experience, Hot Chocolate Legacy embroidered goodie bag, AND a free entry to the 2019-2020 season Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race of your choice!*

HotChocolate15k

Right now, the registration is still fairly low. It’s $74 for the 15k and if you just want to get to the chocolate faster without putting in 3x the amount of work, there’s a 5k available for $49! 🙂 And if you want even more swag, you can use the code “BRHCSD18” to get a free Hot Chocolate 15k cap! 🙂 

If you’re not in San Diego or nearby and would like to run a Hot Chocolate race, they have races all over the U.S. Check their website out for a race near you. 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever run for chocolate? Or food in general? I know I have. I mean, what’s the fun in running if you can’t eat everything in sight afterwards. LOL

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Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Training

Weav Wednesday – A mobile app review

Disclaimer: The Weav Run app is currently free but I will be receiving a lifetime subscription in January 2018 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 are looking for another way to mix up your runs, you should take a look into the Weav Run app.

What is it? The Weav Run app is a mobile (currently only for iOS) app that adjusts the music you’re listening to in order to match your cadence/running speed. IMG_4173

What does that mean? Well, in short, when you run faster, the music will also get faster and when you slow down, the music also slows down.

How does that benefit me? If you’re looking to improve your mile time, beat a personal record, or just listen to more upbeat music when you run, this is probably the app for you. I don’t know about you, but when I run to music, I will dance along to it. If it’s a super motivating song, you will definitely see me run faster. Music is such a motivator for me so if the music is upbeat, you know I will be too.

I’ve been using this app since Thanksgiving and I really enjoy it. It’s super useful during my interval training runs. 🙂

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What if the music sounds weird at the pace I’m running at? The Weav Run founders have mixed the music so that even though the pace is a bit faster, the singers will not sound like chipmunks. Hooray! The transition is fairly smooth. If you are a bit concerned about the pacing, you can also set your cadence and have the music set at a specific beats per minute. That’s what I do. At each interval, I will increase the cadence a bit more and it’s really helped with my training.

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What type of music does the app have? That’s a great question. They currently have 25 songs including “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Basically Over You” by Alex Newell, “Ms Jackson” by OutKast, and “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC. They’re working on expanding their playlist so don’t worry about it being limited. 🙂 As a BibRave Pro, I was able to beta test some of their new features and even listen to their expanded playlist and trust me, they’re awesome.

If you questions regarding the app, please feel free to ask me or read any of the reviews written by other BibRave Pros.

MeridithLindseyBrenda – Chris – Vanessa – Fallon – Emily – Laura – Stephanie

Question for you: How do you mix your runs up? Do you run intervals? With music? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – 3 weeks and counting

Yep, that’s right. Today, there are 20 days left until I embark on my 3rd marathon and this will be no ordinary accomplishment. This accomplishment will be absolutely DOPEY. And that’s because I will have run a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon the three days before the full marathon. Am I crazy? Yep. Am I nervous? Hell yeah. No sane person would not be scared. 🙂

This last week’s “training” was more or less okay. I haven’t been following a plan, which was probably not the best idea, but with motivation being up and down lately, it was too much pressure to adhere to a plan. So I’ve been winging it.

Monday was a wash. I had a meeting after work and didn’t get to my usual run group in time so I settled for a 1 miler to keep the run streak alive.

I made Tuesday’s interval run though. Unfortunately, I started out too fast and couldn’t hold my pace towards the last interval so I called it at 4.73 miles. At least I got the miles in.

On Wednesday, I made it out to Fleet Feet San Diego again and managed to finish a 6 mile run. It was crazy cold for San Diego and my face felt super raw after the run, but the run was good.

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Thursday and Fridays were pretty much wasted. I haven’t been able to motivate myself to run when I’m not with a group so I did a short 2 and 1 miler, respectively and called it.

Saturday was my last long run of this short marathon training season. I met up with Movin’ Shoes and ran a 14.5 mile with another girl who was training for a full the weekend after Dopey. She and I chatted almost the entire time so the pace was good, but as we wrapped up, my knees ached. Ack.

Sunday was interesting. November Project partnered up with Team Hoyt for their Inclusion Community Challenge event. At the event, we participated in events designed to show us what it’s like to compete as a challenged athlete. I had to crawl on my knees and elbows to move a little football around a course. I pushed a Team-Hoyt-Running chair down and up a hill. I was blindfolded and told to find a ball that I had thrown. All the challenges were difficult and the experience gave me a new found admiration for challenged athletes. They’re amazing. Since I didn’t think the event counted as a 1 mile run, I made to run another 1.5 miles later on the day and called it a week.

I finished last week with about 31 miles and this week kick starts tapering. Wheee.

So how are your holidays coming along? Are you getting some runs in? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Dopey Challenge edition

Since I’m less than 4 weeks away from the Dopey Challenge, I figured I should update everyone on my training or lack thereof. Heh. I’m screwed. Maybe.

During the last two weeks, I’ve bumped up my training a bit. It is nowhere as high in mileage or intensity, but it’s been better. Let’s recap the past two weeks, shall we?

November 26th – December 2nd

Since starting the Runner’s World Run Streak, I’ve been a bit more consistent with running. Also, the fear of not finishing the Dopey Challenge was getting bigger and bigger and I ultimately got my butt out of the house to run. I did a 5 miler on Monday, 3 milers Tuesday through Friday, a 15 miler on Saturday, and a 1 miler on Sunday giving me a grand total of 33 miles. The 15 miler was the longest run I’ve done since Chicago, which is a bit worrisome. I probably could have shot for 16 miles, but I fell at mile 14 and my left leg cramped up so badly that I had to stop to stretch for a few minutes before beginning to hobble my way back to my car. I was sore as hell on Sunday and only managed a 1 miler to keep the streak alive.

December 3rd – December 10th

I decided this past week that I was going to try and run longer miles and to motivate myself to do that, I ran with more running groups. I did my usual Monday night run with Movin’ Shoes, but only managed 5 miles because I got there late. On Tuesday, I decided to try an interval run with Movin’ Shoes, which ended up being a great 5 mile work out.

10 min warm up followed by a 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, min interval with 2 min rest in between. Intervals suck, but after finishing them, I felt great that I pushed myself to get after it.

On Wednesday, I found a new running shoe store to run with – Fleet Feet San Diego. They had a nice 3.5 to 6 mile route for runners so I chose the 3.5 mile route. My friend’s knees weren’t feeling that great so we opted for the 3.5 miler. Thursday and Friday were a wash – 1 milers to keep the streak alive and nothing more. Saturday consisted of a 10 miler and on Sunday, the pain came.

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Movin’ Shoes was having their 40th anniversary and celebrated by holding a Mt. Soledad 10k challenge. If you aren’t familiar with this challenge, it’s a 5k run up a hill (800 ft in elevation) to Mt. Soledad and a 5k run back down it. I’m not sure whether it was the 10 miler from the day before or the crazy amount of unhealthy chips I had eaten the days before, but my body was just not having it. My calves cramped up and I ended up having to walk a portion of the trek up. The run back down the hill was fine, but my ego was hurt from struggling so hard up the hill. Despite my struggle yesterday, I still managed to log in about 32 miles for the week. 🙂

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I will be attempting another 31+ mile week and possibly another 15 or 16 mile long run, but we’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

So do you think I’m screwed? Undertrained? Eek! Any tips on surviving back to back races? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Half #18 coming right up

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Los Angeles Half marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

There are only 4 more days to go until I run my 7th half marathon of the year and my 18th half overall. Yay! I have been extremely fortunate to have such a great racing year with little to no injuries. *Knocks on wood*. I’ve run races in San Diego, Long Beach, Vancouver, Chicago, and in a couple more days, I can finally say Los Angeles. Woohoo.

I’m no stranger to LA having been in a relationship with someone who lived there for years. I’ve enjoyed delicious food in LA – tacos at El Chato’s Taco Truck, ramen at Shinsengumi (YUM), and pizza at the Luggage Room just to name a few. I’ve visited the Hollywood walk of fame and been to Univeral Studios where I geeked out on Harry Potter paraphernalia. I’ve run up and down most of LA’s beaches using the Strand and caught a lot of pokemon at the Santa Monica pier. LOL

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Tonkotsu ramen at Shinsengumi
But with the awesomeness that is LA, there is also the bleh part of it. Parking is a HUGE pain not to mention the traffic. I’ve been stuck in traffic for hours trying to drive just 25 miles and trust me, it’s no fun. With that being said, I will have the pleasure of causing more traffic by running the Rock N Roll LA half marathon this Sunday morning. LOL. Sorry LA! It’s going to be extremely satisfying running around the usually busy streets of LA without any traffic. Hooray!

So what is the plan for RnR LA? Hmm, well that’s a great question. It’s only been 2.5 weeks since the Chicago marathon and I don’t think I’m in any shape to try and PR again in the half distance. I know I can run the distance, but at what pace is questionable. My past few runs have been just okay and I found myself having to stop every so often so my legs could recuperate. I will try and hover around a 2:05 and if I feel strong enough to shoot for a sub 2, I will. I probably won’t though. Southern California is experiencing an odd heat wave and with temperatures expected to reach 82F this Sunday, I will probably be taking it easy.

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Training during sunset after the heat had subsided
This race is Halloween themed and unfortunately, I just wasn’t inspired by any costumes and decided to not dress up for the race, but don’t you fret, I will be dressing up for my Disney races in January and you can bet I’ll look adorable in Disney related attire. HAH! I kid, but really, I’m super excited to dress up.

On another note, my friends will be running RnR LA with me and it’ll be awesome because I ran my first half marathon with these guys. I always try and get these guys to come out with me to race and every so often, they cave and sign on. This is one of those rare times. Woohoo! I can’t wait to run another half with them again.

Those are my pre-half marathon thoughts for the week. So tell me, do you have friends that you always run races with or are you like me who tends to race solo? 

 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 16 of Chicago Marathon Training

I have one more week to go until I run my second full marathon and guess what? I’m still FREAKING OUT.

This entry will be a little different from my previous marathon Monday entries in that it will focus on how my overall training season with Hanson’s Marathon Method went, my plans for this week, and my goals for the Chicago marathon.

Weekly Mileage – I logged 36.7 miles this week and although this is a 7.3 mile decrease from last week, I think it was the best decision for my body since the fatigue has been overwhelming lately.

Overall Training – “The hardest part of running a marathon is training for the marathon.” Yup. Absolutely. Although, I might end up disagreeing with this quote when I’m running mile 22 of the marathon. LOL. In this last training cycle, I have:

  • Averaged 6 – 8 hours of running a week
  • Run at least one 10 to 12 miler almost every week
  • Been out the door before 7 am on Saturdays for my long run (I miss sleeping in. HA)
  • Done crazy intervals (Honestly, how is a 3 x 2 mile run an interval? LOL)
  • Had several difficult runs (BOOOOOO!)
  • Run over 200 miles in a month

I tried sticking to Hanson’s plan as closely as I could, but there were multiple weeks where I couldn’t hit the target mileage. There were weeks where my pacing was god awful and there were days where I wish I hadn’t chosen this program. But I’m a week away from running the marathon and despite not feeling super confident about the race, I wouldn’t trade any of the running experiences I’ve had with this program for anything. I knew this plan was going to be tough. I knew that I could fail horribly, but I tried it anyway and I’m so glad I did. I accomplished so many things that I didn’t really think were possible and this has really taught me that you have to aim high to reach your goals.

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Taper Week – Taper, taper, taper! This week will be dedicated to resting as much as I can. That means sleeping early, eating right, doing much shorter runs (think 3 milers), and having more rest days. My legs have also been taking a really long time to loosen up during my runs so I’m thinking that some foam rolling and lots of stretching will be in the agenda for this week as well. 🙂

Revised Goals – I can’t remember if I already mentioned this, but my original goal of a sub 4 hour marathon is no longer on the table. With my more recent runs, I realized that this was too ambitious of a goal. I have since revised my goals to the following:

Goal A – Run a sub 4:15 marathon (Pace: 9:40 min/mile)

Goal B – Run a sub 4:30 marathon (Pace: 10:20 min/mile)

Goal C – FINISH THE MARATHON

Goal A is still pretty ambitious since my one and only marathon time was an 11 min/mile. However, that marathon was the NYC marathon, which has hills. The Chicago marathon does not. Hooray! Also, my training for NYC was mediocre. I skipped a lot of runs and made a lot of excuses and averaged maybe 25-30 miles a week. I also had no finishing time in mind. This time, I ran my butt off during training averaging 40-50 miles a week and I have a specific time in mind. If for any reason, I can’t reach my first goal, there are back up goals and ultimately, I just want to finish another marathon.

6 days and counting guys and gals! If anyone wants to track me, my bib # is 36530. I’ll be starting a little after 8 am CT (That’s 6 am PT for my friends in CA ^_^). Wish me luck!!!

 

 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 13 of Chicago Marathon Training

Less than a month until I run the Chicago Marathon. Holy crap. Here’s my recap of how my marathon training went this past week.

(Scheduled Mileage) Actual Mileage

Monday (6 miles)7 miles

Since Mondays are easy miles, I try running more miles than scheduled because I know I’ll be exhausted by Sunday.

Tuesday (2 x 3 miles with 1.25 mile recovery jog and a 1 mile WU and CD)8 easy miles

This was my worst run of the week. I had to run a few errands in the morning so by the time I was ready to run, it was noon in peak heat. I decided to run by the bay because it’d be a little bit cooler. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. With the heat and lack of shade for 4 miles, I got destroyed during the run. My calf muscles were extremely tight and it took 4 miles for them to loosen up. Each mile in, I had to stop and stretch. I was so mentally and physically drained that I ended up doing an easy 8 miles instead of trying to push myself for intervals. I also miscalculated and didn’t realize I was supposed to do a little over 9 miles. Oops.

Wednesday (Rest)9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD

I was traveling on Thursday so I decided to try for an 9 mile tempo run on Wednesday and rest on Thursday. It was still really warm and I ended up waiting until Wednesday evening to run. It was an okay run and I hit my tempo pace more or less. I did make a few stops along the way because it got dark and I got lost. LOL.

Thursday (9 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest

Traveled to Texas for vacation so it was a rest day for me.

Friday (6 miles)8 miles (4.5 outdoors and 3.5 indoors)

If you didn’t know, Texas is very warm right now. I woke up a little late and was only able to run 4.5 miles outdoors before it got too warm. It was also my first time really exploring Bastrop and honestly I thought I’d get eaten by wildlife. The city is very much considered the countryside and my paranoia was getting the best of me. LOL. I finished the rest of the miles on the treadmill later that day.

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Running around Bastrop, Texas

Saturday (10 miles)10 miles (5.5 outdoors and 4.5 indoors) and an hour of rockclimbing

Again, I split the run into two parts – 1/2 outdoors and 1/2 indoors due to heat. I don’t really enjoy running on the treadmill, but this was the only option since I couldn’t get up early enough (I’m not a morning person) and didn’t want to get heatstroke in the sun. I also ended up bouldering for about an hour.

Sunday (8 miles)6 miles and dance classes

The plan was to go to the Greenbelt in Austin to run, but by the time I woke up, the temperature was already mid 70s. It would have taken another 40 minutes to get into Austin and by that time it would have been 80 and I don’t do well in 80 degree weather. Instead, I went into Austin and took some free dance classes (Intro to Hip Hop and Intro to Ballet for Adults) to mix things up a bit. I ended up getting the miles in on the treadmill later that night while catching up on the BibRave Podcast.

Total mileage (49 miles)49.1 miles 

Thoughts of the Week: With less than 4 weeks to go, I’m getting really nervous about the marathon. Because I’ve been struggling with pacing and hitting my target mileage each week (thank goodness I hit it this week), I think I’ll try for a sub 4:15 marathon time instead. A sub 4 might have been too ambitious, but I don’t regret trying for it at all. 27 days to go. YIKES!

Question for you: I will be moving onto Boston for a few days, but I’ve been having a hard time finding safe routes to run while traveling. How do you find routes to run? Any suggestions for routes to run in either Austin or Boston? Thanks in advance!