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 Running

Me versus the La Jolla Half -Round 2!

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. 

In exactly one month, I will be taking on one of the half marathons I said I would never do again – the La Jolla Half marathon! Yikes!

The La Jolla Half is a beautiful course that starts off at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and finishes at the La Jolla Cove. It also happens to be the second race in a series of three that you must complete in order to finish the Triple Crown Challenge. Learn more about that here. Spoiler alert – you get a big extra medal to add onto your collection and a breakfast burrito at the end of your 3rd race. 🙂

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Credit: La Jolla Half Marathon FB event page

Unfortunately, the course, despite being very scenic, is filled with hills. Anyone that’s run this will warn you of the infamous one at mile 6. At the bottom of the hill, you’re at 50 ft in elevation. At the peak of the hill, you’re at 440 ft. That’s almost a 400 ft increase! Sigh. And even after that increase, you don’t get a satisfying immediate decline. It’s just rolling hills for a few miles more. 😦

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Right before you hit the hill – Credit: La Jolla Half Marathon FB event page/2016 Rich Cruse (CrusePhoto.com)

Reflecting back on it, I think what is most interesting about this hill is that it’s really more of a mental challenge than a physical one, although it does require that you actually train for the distance. Before you run up the hill, you’re running down this beautiful route by the beach and right at the bottom of the hill, they have a water station and Taiko drummers (at least they did when I ran it back then). The view of the hill and the drums psych you out a bit. Like most people, I walked up most of that hill. My foot began tingling like and I didn’t want to injure it any further. I was able to successfully finish the half, but I felt extremely defeated. To this day, the La Jolla Half holds the record for my worst time. EDITED: That’s a lie. I just checked all of my times and America’s Finest City holds this record. Heat and humidity don’t go well with me. Anyway, this year, I’m coming back with a vengeance. It’s been 2 years since I last ran it and I’ve improved a bit as a runner, both mentally and physically. At least, I think I have. 🙂 There’s no way I’ll PR this course (or maybe I can? Who knows?), but if I can beat my last time, I’ll be happy. Also, because it’s Thursday, here’s a #TBT to when I first ran it.

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Back when my knees sucked and I wore KT tape on my knees for every half marathon

If you would like to join me on this course, you can use code BIBRAVE10 in order to save $10 off your registration fee. If the half isn’t your thing, they also have a 5k you can register for. 🙂 

 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Luvo Comes To Save The Day

Disclaimer: I received some Luvo frozen meals 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!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to try a variety of Luvo frozen meals and honestly, they couldn’t have come at a better time. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been sick with what I can only describe as an inconvenience to breathing. Having to spit out phlegm every hour or so has not been fun, but it’s okay, I’m getting better. With the Luvo meals, I was able to easily pop one into the microwave and within minutes, I had a healthy meal that was piping hot, smelled delicious, and tasted great.

Here’s an excerpt from Luvo’s website:

“Where your food comes from makes a big difference—not just to your body, but to the world as well. So we’re making every effort to support farmers and suppliers by sourcing responsibly. We use antibiotic-free meat and poultry, and non-GMO, organic ingredients whenever possible. Of course it’s a work in progress, but we’re constantly working to bring you the highest quality, most delicious, nutrient-dense food at the best price. Learn more about our practices in our FAQ.”

Without further ado, my review of the Luvo frozen meals I got to try out in order from least favorite to OMG, PLEASE GIVE ME MORE. 🙂

5. Chicken Enchiladas – This meal also comes with black beans and brown jasmine rice. On the front of each of the packages, it will usually indicate how flavorful it is. I’ve found that what they say pretty much rings true. The chicken enchiladas were marked as “on the mild side,” and this was right on. I love spice and personally do not prefer mild tasting food. However, as someone who had a really sore throat two weeks ago, this was actually pretty good for me. The chicken was moist and the flavor didn’t worsen my throat. Woo!

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4. Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This comes in a fire roasted tomato sauce, which I really appreciated. I found the ravioli to be a bit on the blander side, but the sauce totally made up for it. It was really flavorful and I am a little ashamed to admit this, but I licked the plate clean. IMG_8099

3. Turkey Meatloaf – This comes with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and cranberries. Do the ingredients sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you clearly don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. This meal is practically Thanksgiving in a box. The mash potatoes tasted fresh and the gravy was so rich in flavor that I forgot for a second that these meals were actually healthy. The meatloaf was moist and not dried out at all even after 7 minutes in the microwave. IMG_8184

2. Turkey Vegetable Lasagna – The lasagna consists of whole wheat noodles, kale, and spinach. This was my very first Luvo meal and I was over the moon with this dish. I kept telling my boyfriend that he had to try it and after some skepticism, I got him to try it and he liked it too. I’m not even a huge fan of kale, but this lasagna mix was delicious – extremely savory. IMG_8077

1. Orange Mango Chicken – This one was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. It comes with whole grains, broccoli and kale and is smothered in a delicious orange mango sauce. Think regular orange chicken but healthier because it’s not deep fried. I really didn’t think I could like orange chicken that wasn’t deep fried, but I was wrong. The chicken soaked the sauces in. The whole grains and veggies were a bit on the blander side, but just dip those into the sauce and you’re good to go. IMG_8243

Too long? Didn’t read? In that case, here’s a pros and cons list for you. 🙂

Pros 

Healthy – Their meals consist of antibiotic-free meat and poultry, and non-GMO, organic ingredients whenever possible. Their meals have a full serving of fruits and veggies. This is HUGE for me since I’m a terrible eater. In N Out anyone? 🙂

Smells – The meals, once cooked, SMELL INCREDIBLE. Seriously, my colleagues always wondered what I was eating because it would always smell really good.

Taste – I’m a person that loves to eat. I mean, I live to eat. That means that taste is really important to me. Out of the 5 that I tried, I really liked 3 of them. Even with the other two, I could have added a little more salt or spice to it and it would been just great to eat.

Environment friendly – Their packaging comes from recycled paper! Woo. Every step towards being more environmentally friendly helps, right?

Cons

Portion size – This one is not actually a con for me, but may be a con for others. I have a tendency to overeat so I love just taking one of these to work with me and eating just that and nothing else. Their portions are perfect for me, but may not be for you.

Variety – Luvo actually has quite a bit of variety (boxed meals, burritos, bowls, vegetarian, non-vegetarian), but since they are still starting out, it’s sometimes difficult to find the meal you want. A lot of the stores around my neighborhood would only carry three different meals so I went around to different stores hoping to find some new ones to try.

If you’re interested in trying any of Luvo’s meals, they have this little search engine that tells you where to find specific meals. They also have some promotions on their site if you want to save a few dollars. 🙂  I would definitely recommend the Orange Mango Chicken, Turkey Lasagna, and the Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. Stores in my neighborhood didn’t carry the Mac and Cheese meal, but fellow BibRave Pros raved about it.

And finally, here’s what fellow Bib Rave Pros thought about Luvo:  JeannineLindseyAngie, and Jeremy

Posted in Running

Two weeks until my first 5k of the year!

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. 

Yes, you heard that right. In exactly two weeks, I will be running my first 5k of the year at Carlsbad5000. Hooray! This will be my second time running it and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

The Basics

Date: April 2nd, 2017

Organizers: Run by the Rock N Roll series

Race Distances: 5k or 20k (all day)

Headliner: BetaMaxx

Interesting fact: Carlsbad5000 is the world’s fastest 5k (I’m assuming because the course is fairly flat and a lot of people have broken world records on it).

This will be my second time running the 5k and I’m hoping that I will be able to PR at this race. At least, I’m going to try. 🙂 If you are one of the first 250 finishers, I believe you are awarded a medal and this year, the medals are REALLY pretty. 17203523_10104726732916174_2093542708_n

After seeing the medals, I was extremely tempted to just switch to the 20k, but I decided to stay with the 5k for this year. I mean, a sandcastle medal would be awesome, wouldn’t it? If only I could run all the races. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular 20k distance, it’s unique in that the 20k is broken up into four races. It’s an all day event and you have four start lines and four finish lines! You participate in four 5k races totaling 20k. For more information on it, click here. I think it’s really cool to do especially if you have friends in different brackets. You could in theory run with all of them.

If you’re interested in running this race, use the discount code: BIBRAVE15 to get $15 off your entry to either the 5k or the 20k. The 5k is currently $45.99 and with the code, it’d only be $31.99 + some fees. That’s not bad for a 5k that gives out a medal. This code is valid until 3/26/2017. 

 

 

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?