Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

T’was the week of the the Hot Chocolate 15k

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. 

Soooo I’m 3 days out from the Hot Chocolate 15k and well, I’m not where I want to be. Training has been really difficult for me and I’m still not sure what the issue is. I have a suspicion that I’m not sleeping enough and that my body isn’t recovering as quickly as I’d like it to. I haven’t been running any insane distances. Last Saturday was the first Saturday in a while since I’ve hit double digits.

The plan for the rest of this week is to take it as easy as I can. My hamstring has been acting up a bit and hurts whenever I start running. It eases up a mile in, but still, the pain is a bit concerning. My left foot also tingles a bit at the bottom 3 miles in, which also is a red flag. Sigh. Maybe I need new shoes too. Hmm. So far, this week has consisted of a slow 5 miler on Monday, an interval night with 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, min intervals with a 2 minute rest in between on Tuesday, and an easy 3.1 mile run for Pi day (3.14). Nom nom nom. I have a spin class scheduled for tonight and then have a short 3 mile run on Saturday. However, if the pain persists, I may just skip the run on Saturday and just rest Friday and Saturday so I can run the 15k on Sunday.

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Running in the rain during intervals night

The game plan for race day will be to get lots of sleep the night before and to park at a lot where I can just take the Trolley down to downtown. This will save me a lot of stress from finding parking in the morning. 🙂 Then, I’ll just take it easy from start to finish. My competitiveness is telling me that I should try and attempt a PR, but since the following week is the Carlsbad5000 and that race is a goal race for me, I’ll stick to a nice easy race for the Hot Chocolate 15k. Maybe I’ll even stop for sweets along the course.

Question for you: Any suggestions to make my legs not feel like lead when I run? Also, is there a trick to eating M&Ms along a race course? Do you have any tips for me? 

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Posted in Running

I’m a Momentum Ambassador

Soooo if you couldn’t tell by the title, I was fortunate enough to be chosen this year to become a Momentum Ambassador. Momentum Jewelry is a company that creates jewelry that empowers you to keep going in the midst of a difficult workout. And their jewelry isn’t just for that encouragement during a workout. They are worn as little boosts of encouragement throughout difficult days.

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I discovered Momentum Jewelry over 2 years ago when I got my first piece of jewelry – a Sparklet – in a Good Luck Box.

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Since then, I’ve gotten two motivate wraps that say “Just Breathe” and “Believe in Yourself.” I wear them when I’m going through a tough time and just need that extra boost of confidence. They push me to keep going and to take things one step at a time. 🙂 Their wraps are also made with very soft fabric. I LOVE SOFT FABRIC. It doesn’t chafe when you run and humidity doesn’t make it uncomfortable to wear.

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I think that everyone needs their own personal cheerleader and I think that this company really encompasses that. It’s composed of people who cheer each other on and in this crazy world, I think we all need a little bit of cheering. 🙂

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Question for you: Do you own a piece of momentum jewelry? What’s your favorite mantra to keep you going throughout the day?

Posted in Running

#SKINSorNothing – Compression tights Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of SKINS DNAmic Compression 3/4 Tights 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!

I do apologize I haven’t been posting as regularly. Work has been keeping me extremely busy and with all the running I’ve been doing after work, I’m sometimes too pooped to blog. Ahhh. Sorry! 😦 I’ll try and be better about it.

Anyway, I’m writing to tell you about the new Skins DNAmic Compression tights I got to try out for the past month. I tried out their A400 shorts a few months back and really liked how form fitting they were and how easy they were to run in. This time around, I wanted to try out their 3/4 tights. I mentioned previously that I don’t normally wear compression clothes. I’ve tried long compression socks in the past, but because of my ginormous calves and how they swell during my runs, I simply can’t wear them on my runs. But I thought that the 3/4 tights might work out since they don’t cover my calves. Hooray! Here are my first impressions below:

First glance – I ordered an XS. Based on my height and weight, it said to order XS. When I got them, I thought HOLY CRAP, I’M NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO TEST THESE OUT. IT’S WAY TOO SMALL. Seriously. Those were my exact thoughts. Other thoughts included, “Dang’t. They’re really cute too.” and “Why did I think I could fit into an XS?”

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First fitting – Despite looking really small, I actually was able to fit into them just fine. It took a little bit of effort to move the fabric up my thighs, but since I’ve done the same thing with pantyhose, it wasn’t a huge problem for me. Once I got them on, I still worried that they would rip on a run. Wouldn’t that be super embarrassing on a run? AWKWARD. They felt really tight, but then again, these are compression tights. They should be tight, right? Can you tell I was over thinking everything? LOL

First run – For someone who was worried about ripping their tights on their run, I wasn’t the smartest in choosing what my first run in them was going to be. I ran in them for the first time during INTERVAL training. Yup. That’s right. I ran in them when I knew I needed to be moving really quickly and wanted to know if they could withstand really quick movements. VERDICT? THEY CAN. 🙂 I was pretty thrilled by how well they withstood my running. And this could totally be a placebo effect, but I really thought I did super well with intervals that day. Maybe it was the increased blood flow due to the compression wear. 🙂

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Yes, they are form fitting, but they actually don’t constrict your movements at all. I feel completely fine running in them and I’ve run in them at least 6 times in the past few weeks for short runs, long runs, trail runs, etc, and they’ve held up fine. There hasn’t been any fraying or deterioration in the fabric. I’ve also washed them and they didn’t shrink. Woohoo!

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They also have sports bras to match and they’re super comfy!

Other Info about SKINS compression wear:

Gradient Compression – Compression is applied across all the major muscle groups, with the highest pressure exerted at the lower calf or forearm, gradually decreasing towards the heart. This drives the blood towards your heart making you more efficient at running.

Warp Knit Technology – SKINS develops their own fabrics that are meant for durability, stability, and stretch recovery. Their fabrics are really soft and are designed to manage moisture for optimal temperature control.

There you have it. My review of the SKINS DNAmic 3/4 tights. If you have questions about the product, please post below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, you can read other BibRave Pros reviews of the line below. I’ll update with more reviews as soon as they post. 🙂

Amy W  – Amy P – Brenda – Lindsay – Stephanie – Kim

 Questions for you: Do you wear compression clothes? Do you believe that compression wear works? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Races for 2018 Coming Up – Rock N Roll San Diego

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego 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. 

The Rock N’ Roll Marathon Series just celebrated their 20th anniversary last year and this year, they’re upping their game! They’re revamping the whole Rock N’ Roll experience with more music, better runner support, and more community engagement. Let’s break it down. 🙂

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From my very first RNRSD half marathon (also my first ever half)

More Music – The Rock N’ Roll Marathon Series is known to have live bands and DJs jam it out on the course. In addition to all that, they’re including mile markers that have music blasting from them. They’ll also be drum lines and pacers will also be running with music. I’m pretty stoked about finding a pacer and running with their music. I run with music already, but I just love the idea of people jamming to the same music. If you’ve ever watched me run, you’ll notice that sometimes I’ll be dancing while running. It’s just more fun that way. 🙂 They’re also providing Rock N’ Roll curated playlists on Spotify for playlists customized by bpm so you can train with a certain pace in mind. 🙂 If you have the right kind of music, it can make a half a breeze. 🙂

Better Runner Support – MORE PORTA POTTIES AT THE START LINE AND ON THE COURSE. Woohoo! This isn’t necessarily a perk for me, but who knows? Maybe it will be. If you know me, you’ll know that I HATE using porta potties. I’m such a germaphobe and for good reason too. Poop on the porta pottie lid? Barf. LOL. I saw it at the Chicago Marathon when I went to use one. NEver again. Anyway, they’re providing us with more porta potties, which will alleviate the wait time to use. They’ll be more aid stations with gels and bananas, better mile signage, and illuminated starting corral markets.

More Community Engagement – STREAMING VIDEO from the course to a finish line big screen. I’m pretty excited about the finish line big screen. Doesn’t everyone want to see their big finish? 🙂 At some races, they’re going to make the video available online for those who can’t be there to see you finish. 🙂 You can bet that I’m going to tell my friends to watch me finish. Hehe.

If you couldn’t tell by the smileys sprinkled throughout the post, I’m pretty excited to see the new changes taking place for this race series. I’ve run the Rock N Roll San Diego half marathon three times and this will be my fourth time.

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From 2017’s RnRSD race

I’m thinking about trying to PR my course record and who knows, this may be my year. 🙂 If you’re interested in running any of their revamped Rock N Roll races, you can use the code “RNRBRP2018” to save $15 off the half or marathon distance. (RnRVegas not included).

Questions for you? Have you run a Rock N Roll Race before? Which one? Do you race with music or not?

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Races for 2018 Coming Right Up – Big Sur 21 miler

My oh my where has the time gone…It’s already February and 5 races have already been run. 🙂 Today, I’m continuing on with my discussion of my 2018 races, the Big Sur 21 miler in particular.

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Big Sur 21 miler 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!”

I signed up for this race back in November and a few weeks ago, I booked my flights and my AirBnB for Big Sur. 🙂 If you are unaware of this race and are a runner, you are really missing out. When I first started searching for bucket list marathons, the Big Sur Marathon was there near the top of my list. Many running lists have listed this as one of the most beautiful and from the pictures, I really do believe that’s true.

I wasn’t lucky enough to get into the marathon distance this year (it’s a lottery), but I was fortunate enough to snag a spot in the 21 miler distance. This course is extremely scenic. It’s a point to point with rolling hills. Big Sur is the largest rural marathon in the world and is considered to be a moderately difficult one. The course winds through redwoods (although I believe only the marathon goes through this part), alongside ranches, and offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. You will even cross the beautiful Bixby Bridge. If you don’t live near the beach and want to experience running by it, this is definitely the race for you. I mean, come on. Their tag line for their race is “Running on the ragged edge of the western world.” If that doesn’t entice you, I don’t know what will. 🙂

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Bixby bridge – PC: Uniqueway.com

I think this is particular race is a great one for the family. They have all sorts of race distances if the longer ones aren’t you cup of tea. In addition to the marathon and the 21 miler, there’s also a marathon relay, an 11 miler, a 12k, a 5k, and an even a 3k for those little ones just starting out.

The Big Sur Marathon race series has also partnered up with Motigo to provide a little more emotional support during that intense racing experience. Before you embark on your race, your friends and family can pre-record messages and select which mile markers the runner will hear them at! So if your friends can’t wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer you on, they can at least pre-record a message of their cheer for you to hear at mile 20 when you’re in need of that extra boost. LOL.

I’ve already started mentally preparing myself for this race. Since it’s a moderately difficult course, I will not be aiming for a personal record. However, on a technicality, because I’ve never run a 21 mile race before, this will actually be a personal record. LOL. Because the race is so scenic, you can bet that I’ll just be focusing on enjoying the course and taking lots and lots of photos.

I’m not exactly physically prepared, but starting this week, I hope to increase my mileage. 🙂 Maybe even run 10+ miles on Saturday. 😛 Wish me luck!

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Question for you: Have you ever run the Big Sur marathon? Or had a super scenic race? Which one was it? 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

SoCal Spartan Super Race Report

I just want to premise this entire post by saying I was very under trained for this race. Yes, running 8 to 10 miles wasn’t bad, but to add 25 to 30 obstacles throughout those miles made it CRAZY difficult. And with that, my SoCal Spartan Super race report. AROO! Also, this is a long post. Apologies in advance.

3 weeks after the Dopey Challenge, I embarked on my first Spartan experience. I ran this with a friend and her boyfriend who had done a super before and thought it’d be nice to have company and help when struggling through an obstacle. They also both volunteer at these races, which gives them a free race entry so if you ever want to try one of these races and don’t want to pay, that’s your way in. 🙂 You also get VIP parking for volunteering, which is super nice when you’re tired and just want to get to your car ASAP. 🙂

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I signed up for a morning slot and started the race at 10:30 am. The race has morning and afternoon slots so you’re assigned a time based on when you sign up. If you and your friend are assigned different times, the person with the earlier slot can move to the later slot. Moving to an earlier spot is a no no.

The morning of, you pick up your Spartan envelope, which include a headband that has your participant number on it (this is in lieu of a bib), your tracker, and a wristband for beer. On the back of the envelope is this warning:

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LOL. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. The thought to call my loved ones and tell them that I loved them crossed my mind several times. HAHA. Before you start the race, you have to climb over a 5 foot wall to just get into your corral. Then after a pep talk from the Spartan people, they send you off.

The obstacles start off fairly easy, but get increasingly difficult.

5, 6, and 7 feet wall – Climb over them. I didn’t have too much trouble with these. There are ledges on the taller walls to help short people over.

Barbed Wire – Crawl underneath barbed wire. Some people rolled. I army crawled. 🙂 Being short helped in this case. 🙂 Hooray!

Atlas Carry – Carry a 40-50 lb stone ball 10 feet, do 5 burpees, and bring the ball back to its starting position. This was my first real “OH SHIT, I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO SURVIVE THIS SPARTAN” moment. I had a very hard time picking the ball back up after the burpees and it took me almost 2 minutes to find a way to carry that thing back.

Yokohama Tire Flip – Flip over a 200 lb tire twice. My friend and I combined forces here and completed the task.

Olympus – Think traversal rockclimbing, but with no foot holds. I made it through 6 holds before needing someone to push me up and prevent me from falling.

Hercules’ Hoist – It’s a pulley system where you’re pulling a rope that’s attached to a 100 lb weight. Again, my friend and I completed the task together.

Mud Misery – LOL. This obstacle is aptly named. You walk into a trench filled with mud and make your way across this trench and then get out. The mud was SUPER cold and afterwards, I couldn’t get the rocks out of my shoes.

Bucket Brigade – Carry a bucket filled with rocks (~50-60 lbs) around a course. Oh my poor arms. I stopped a million times to rest.

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Spearman – Throw a spear into a stack of hay and make it stick. This was probably my favorite obstacle, but it was also the first obstacle I failed. You only get one chance and if it doesn’t stick, you have to do burpees. This was where I did my first 30 burpees.

Z walls – Traversal rock climbing with hand and foot holds. Since I’m small, it was easy to make it across. The only tricky part was when I had to grab a hold around the corner and the hold was WAY farther than I had anticipated.

Barbed Wire #2 – Repeat of earlier obstacle

Twister – Monkey bars except on hard mode. I couldn’t get a good enough grip on these so I dropped out pretty early. I did my second set of burpees here.

8 foot wall – Climb over it. LOL.

Stairway to Sparta – Another wall climbing challenge.

Bender – Another wall climbing challenge. This one was rather difficult because the first bar I could grab was maybe 7 feet in the air. So I got a boost, hooked my leg onto the bar, and made my way slowly up the bars. Since the obstacle is at an angle, you’re essentially climbing up against gravity and hoping to god that you don’t fall backwards. I hooked my arms under each bar to make sure I didn’t fall.

Sand Bag Carry – Carry a ~40 lb sandbag across your shoulders for what feels like forever. LOL

Plate Drag – Pull a rope that’s attached to a plate that has maybe 50 lbs of weights on it.

Multi Rig – Monkey bars on extreme mode. Failed this one and did my third set of burpees.

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A Frame Cargo – Climb up and down cargo netting. Sounds easy enough, yeah? It was super windy that day and I heard the structure squeak and I freaked out. LOL. I’m deathly scared of heights and this obstacle gave me the most anxiety. I thought I was going to plummet to my death.

Rope Climb – Self-explanatory. I actually made it up 3/4 of the way, but my upper body was shot and I was worried that if I did one more pull up, I’d fall so I failed this one too. 😦 By this point, my hands were extremely raw and I only managed 20 burpees here.

Rolling Mud Dunk Wall – 3 trenches of mud followed by a wall that you have to go under to get to the other side. And on the other side of the wall? Photographers, of course. LOL

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Slip Wall – Climb up a wall using a rope. Definitely easier said than done. After the mud dunk wall, everyone was extremely slippery and the mud was all over the wall making it super difficult to get over the wall. I didn’t even attempt this because I knew I’d fall.

Inverted Wall – Self-explanatory. I actually had enough grip strength to hold on to the bars and made it over. 🙂

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Too long, didn’t read? The Spartan races are HARD. I did a total of 120 burpees. I highly recommend training for them even if you’re just doing the Sprint. My hands were extremely raw at the end and I was really cold after the mud obstacles. It’s been two weeks since I did the Super and I’m still not sure I’ll be back. LOL. Ask me again in a month. Maybe I’ll have changed my mind. 🙂 IMG_4923

Question for you: Are you an obstacle course racer? Which one is your favorite? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Races for 2018 Coming Right Up – Carlsbad 5000 and SoCal Ragnar Relay

2018 is turning out to be a year full of new types of races for me. I will continue on racing some of my favorites, but have also expanded my race resume. In this edition, I will be discussing an old favorite of mine, the Carlsbad 5000, and a bucket list race, the Southern California Ragnar Relay!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 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. 

The Carlsbad5000 

Date: March 24-25, 2018 

Distance: 5k or 20k all day

Known as the fastest 5k in the world, the Carlsbad5000 is a great flat route to run if you’re looking to PR in the 5k distance. I’ve run this race twice and have PRed both times. This race was actually my very first BibRave race so it holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

If you’re one of the top 250 runners in your group, you get a medal with a ribbon that says top 250 finisher. Not only is this course super fast, it’s also very scenic as it runs along the beach so you get a great view of the ocean. 🙂 If you’re not from a coast city, this is the race for you!

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Last year’s medal

If a 5k seems too easy, try running their 20k all day race. This is super unique in that the 20k is broken up into 4 5k races in one day. Each 5k is for a different age group and if you’re running the 20k all day, you get to run in every one. Last year was my last year running it in the 25-29 age group. Eek! I’ll be entering the 30+ age group this year. They also have an elite race where you get to watch the fastest of the fast compete. It’s one of the last races of the day so you can finish your race, grab a slice of pizza at Pizza Port, and watch these runners go.

There’s no discount code for this race, but if you want to run a Rock N Roll race, you can use the discount code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off one of their half or marathon distances (Vegas not included). 

Southern California Ragnar Relay

Date: April 6-7 2018

Distance: 200ish miles

This is a bucket list race I’ve had my eye on for about a year now. It’s so popular that it’s now a lottery and I somehow managed to snag myself an entry for my team. Like the name implies, the Ragnar race series is a relay in which you and 11 other team members run a 200 mile race. There’s also an ultra option where it’s a team of 6, but I’m not crazy enough for that one just yet. 😛 Ragnar has both road and trail races so if roads aren’t your thing, try one of their trail races.

For the Southern California race, we start in Huntington Beach and make our way down to San Diego. The runners are split into 2 vans and every runner in van 1 runs before trading off with all the runners in van 2. Then, once all the runners in van 2 run, it alternates back to van 1 runners. Every runner runs three legs and each of the legs are at different distances and have varying degrees of difficulty. The race is done over the course of two days and sleep is minimal. During those two days, you get to bond with your smelly van mates and hopefully, you all make it out alive. Heh.

This is my first year doing a Ragnar Race so I don’t have that many details, but I will be sure to update you once I’ve run it. 🙂 I’ve heard it’s quite an experience so I will try to make it a good one.

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Training for all the races!

So there you have it. Two more races that I’ve signed up for this year. Stay tuned. I have a few more race updates to tell you about. 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever run a relay race? Ragnar? Any tips for a first timer?