Posted in Running

A Great Way to Start 2019 – The Irvine Half Marathon

Every Sunday for the past few months, I wake up to posts of racing photos and every time, I experience major FOMO. LOL. Luckily, I’ve had two races recently so the FOMO has kind of settled down a bit, but if you were to ask how I was doing a few weeks prior, oh man would that have been a different story. LOL.

But what am I going to do after the Honolulu marathon? Well, I’m glad you asked. I am and will most DEFINITELY rest for at least a week. Then, it’s back up and running I go. Why you ask?

Because I have finally decided on my first half of 2019 and drumroll please….

It’s going to be the Irvine Half Marathon!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Irvine 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.

Here are the details:

Date: Saturday, January 12th, 2019

Time: 8 AM

Location: Irvine, CA

Distances: Half marathon and 5k

Price (until Nov 22nd): Half marathon – $85, 5k – $40

Discount code: BRSCVIP for 10% off

This half used to be called the SoCal Half Marathon and 5k, but after 27 years, it got rebranded to give the city of Irvine a bit more credit for the race. 🙂 The race has a beautiful course that goes through community parks, along the San Diego Creek, and will make you feel like you never want to leave. 🙂

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Near the start at Mike Ward Community Park

With registration, you’ll get free admission to the Kona Brewing Finish Line Festival, get a free beer from Kona Brewing, FREE PHOTOS (AGAIN, I LOVE FREE PHOTOS LOL), a technical tee, free pace groups, and obviously a medal when you cross that finish line. 🙂

I’m pretty excited to kick off the new year with a half marathon. I always love starting new years with races. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that I’m caring for my health. 🙂 If you’re looking for a nice, fairly inexpensive half to kick start the new year, I’d recommend this one. Also, it’s in Southern California so you’ll know the weather will be nice and moderate. 🙂

Question for you: Have you signed up for any 2019 races yet? If so, which ones? I’m still looking to plan out the rest of 2019 and need a lot of ideas. 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – The Influence of Other Runners

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Honolulu 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.

If you’re interested in signing up for the Honolulu Marathon, use code “HNLBR2018” for 10% off the registration.

Runner friends are just the worst.

And when I say that, I actually mean the exact opposite. LOL. Let me explain. I went into week 11 of Honolulu Marathon training with a bit of hesitation. I had an 18 mile long run scheduled at the end of the week and it was my first 18+ miler since FOREVER (ie January 2018, when I did the Walt Disney World Marathon). I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but as the days went by, my confidence grew. Or maybe it was my friends’ confidence in me grew. I’m not really sure which. LOL.

On Monday, I did my usual 6 miles with my run group. Coming off of a 15 miler on Sunday, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t have it in me to pull off the 6 miles, but for some reason, I felt okay to run. The first 3 miles were great, but the last 3 miles weren’t. LOL. I had started a little too fast chasing the sunset that I had drained my legs the first 3 and had to run slower the last 3. It has been helping that it’s a been a lot cooler in the evening and since it’s darker, I’m a bit more scared and will try to speed up my workouts.

I had no intention of running on Tuesday, but at the end of my Monday run, a friend was pestering me to go so I did. Again, I wasn’t sure if I could run faster over the course of 6 x 6 min intervals (Do you see my pattern of self-doubt? -_-), but in the end, I did and I felt fantastic. Who knew?

On Wednesday, I put in 5 miles with my usual run group. It got dark really fast and everyone sped up as to not lose one another. LOL. If I couldn’t see the light from the runner in front of me, I had to run faster and the person behind me did the same. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise. 😛 I DID run faster as a result.

On Thursday, I decided to run a mile. At work, I put together a to do list for my colleagues to participate in for the month of October. We’re pretty sedentary at work so I chose to include a Run/Walk streak for a week as one of the activities. Despite being tired as hell, I got that mile in. I also did some core workouts with TRX since my lower body was really fatigued from running.

On Friday, I managed the mile and did some more core workouts with a yoga ball. It hurt. LOL.

On Saturday, my friend from out of town, Nicole ran with me. She had a 22 miler and so our long runs would match up for the most part. Thank goodness I ran with her because it made the time pass by so much more quickly and I enjoyed the 18 mile run so much more. A huge thank you to her for making that the most enjoyable long run I’ve had in a longggg time. Who knew that I could hold conversation pace for 3.5 hours and learn so many new things about her? LOL. If you have a long run scheduled, try to run with a friend. It’s just so much better and who knows what stories you’ll get from one another when you do. 😛

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I was scheduled to rest on Sunday, but my boyfriend hadn’t gotten around to his long run so I offered to bike with him as he ran. I was able to log 10 miles on a bike and boy was it fun. So much easier than running. LOL. I’m still too scared to ride a bike more consistently though. The fear of getting hit by a car is too great. 😦

TLDR? Below is a recap of my training. I was short 0.5 miles of my goal (37 miles), but I’ll still take it as a success. This week will be a cutback week so I’m so stoked to rest and recover from last week’s mileage. 🙂

Question for you: How was your week? 

Week 11 of Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned) Actual mileage

Monday – (4 miles) 6 miles

Tuesday – (Rest) 5.5 miles (1 mile warm up with 6 x 6 min intervals, 1 min rest)

Wednesday (9 miles) 5 miles

Thursday (6 miles)  1 mile with core workouts on TRX

Friday (Rest) 1 mile with core workouts on yoga ball

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday  (Rest) 10 mile bike ride

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

After “Nuun” Delight – Nuun Immunity Review

Disclaimer: I received a two tubes of Nuun Immunity 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. 

Training for a marathon is hard. Putting in the miles. Eating right. (LOL. I really don’t.) And most importantly, drinking right. Every day, when I get a break at work, I force myself to get up and go get a cup of water. If I don’t, I know I’ll regret it on my run in the evening. Hydration is important pre-run and most definitely post-run.

I was introduced to Nuun a few years ago at a Health and Fitness Expo. I tried their electrolyte line, more specifically the Lemon-Lime and fell in love with it. Seriously, I requested the Lemon-Lime tubes from my Secret Santa last year and got 5 tubes of them. LOL. Since then, I’ve also bought their watermelon flavor and strawberry lemonade. 🙂

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Nuun is different from other sports drinks in that it comes in the form of a tablet. Think Alka Seltzer tablets. You can drop one of the tablets into 16 oz water and in a few minutes, you’ll have a sports drink. There’s no shaking to get the tablet to dissolve (which is great after a hard workout because who has the energy to dissolve a drink). IMG_9040

A month and a half ago, I was able to try out their new Immunity product line. It differs from their electrolyte line in that it focuses more on keeping your immune system in tip top shape. When you’re in a high stress environment (working out, traveling, working on a tight deadline), you’re more likely to come down with something. (I always came down with something after taking finals). These tablets are supposed to help you with that.

The Nuun Immunity line contains a mix of electrolytes and botanicals like tumeric, ginger, elderberry, and echinacea that help protect you against the common cold or even the flu. Currently, they have two flavors: Blueberry Tangerine and Orange Citrus. I was able to try both and my favorite of the two has got to be Orange Citrus. It is very similar to Lemon-Lime has a nice moderate flavor. In my honest opinion, I wasn’t a huge fan of the BlueBerry Tangerine, but many other BibRave Pros preferred it over the Orange Citrus. It’s just a matter of preference.

With my marathon training ramping up, I’m not taking any chances and have included taking Nuun Immunity every few days. And *fingers crossed*, I haven’t come down with anything yet. The true test will definitely be trying these when it starts to get colder. Brrrr.

If you’ve never tried these tablets, I’d definitely recommend. They’re typically $7 a tube and each tube contains 10 tablets. I really like trying out their new flavors and not everything is a hit, but I have found flavors that I will always return to. They also have vitamins and performance lines too, which I haven’t actually tried, but will try within the next few months. I am not a fruit fanatic so getting in those vitamins should probably be a goal for me. LOL.

Nuun tablets are available at most local running shoe stores and at some grocery stores. If you can’t get your hands on any locally, you can order them online. If you’re in the U.S., you can also use the code “HYDRATEBIBPRO” for 20% off your entire online Nuun order. This offer lasts until the end of October 2018. 🙂

See below for my fellow BibRave Pros’ reviews of the Nuun Immunity line. I will update with more of their reviews as they post them. 🙂

Jenn – LindsayRyan – Amanda – Randy

Question for you: What are your go to sports drinks? Do you also drink Nuun or something else? What are you favorite flavors? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – It’s Getting Real

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Honolulu 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.

If you’re interested in signing up for the Honolulu Marathon, use code “HNLBR2018” for 10% off the registration.

You know the marathon training is getting real (and terrifying) when you have your first 13+ mile long run. This week, it got real. Here is that recap of the week’s training.

Week 7 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6.2 miles – Having not slept enough the night before, I was debating between running 5 or 6 flat miles. Little did I know that Milestone Running had something else in mind. The 3rd Monday of every month, this store does a 10k challenge up and down Mt. Soledad. Over the course of a 5k, you gain 600+ feet and it is not fun. LOL. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that my calves are a major pain point for me and you’ll also know that running uphill sets them off. 😦 I was pretty slow up the mountain, but I made up for it on the way down. 🙂 See my splits below. LOL. Uneven much?

Tuesday (Rest) 5 sets of 30 sec handstands with stair running and 10 v sit ups – Everything about this workout was challenging. Holding a handstand at first felt fine, but after the 3rd round, my arms were shaking and I thought I’d fall flat on my face.

Wednesday (7 miles) 5.3 miles – The nice thing about having a group to hold you accountable is that they also become an awesome group to hang out with. I had a really bad work day and one of the staff members at Fleet Feet San Diego stuck this duct taped note onto a Capri Sun. (If you’ve been to my IG lately, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with Capri Suns. LOL). It just made my day.

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Thursday (5 miles) 2.4 miles and 5 sets of jump roping singles and 15 lb weighted lunges across the room – Running on the treadmill isn’t very fun and during a very busy work day, I was only able to get in a few miles. I then spent after work doing some light weight work.

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (14 miles) 14 miles – This was the longest run yet for this training season and boy oh boy, it sucked. I was fairly strong for 6 miles, but then it got warm and the clouds disappeared. I ran with a friend who kept my spirits up and we got to 9 miles together. Unfortunately, that’s when things got a lot harder. I was on the struggle bus the last 5 miles. I was able to jog 2 miles more before starting to take more walk breaks. Luckily, another friend found me and jogged/walked with me the final 1.5 miles. Doubt was on my mind the last 5 miles. This run made me wonder if I could ever do an ultra. 😦

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Sunday (Rest) Yoga, 1600 meter swim, 1 mile run – After my long run on Saturday, I was basically bed ridden for the rest of the day. LOL. So Sunday, I decided that I should probably stretch and do a bit of active recovery. By Sunday, I was short 2 miles and attempted to run the two, but my legs were so sore that I only managed 1.

Total mileage: 29/30 miles

This week wasn’t a great week in terms of running, but I think it’ll be okay. That 14 miler was HARD, but we all have those days…I think.

How do you deal with doubt on your runs? Or in general? Do you just brush it off? Please share. 🙂

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Fatigue Setting In

Okay, so this post isn’t technically on a Monday, but you’ll have to forgive me. Life happened and I just kind of forgot to write.

Week 6 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles – A sort of strong 6 miles run with Milestone Running. I ran 4 miles strong, stopped to sit down and take a photo, and pulled a hamstring. -_- Sigh. Some cursing ensued and then I hobbled/ran the last two miles back.

Tuesday (Rest) 6 sets of 10 kettle bell swings, 10 kettle bell levers, 10 inverted rows, and 10 incline push ups – Hello full body workout! This was a “as many reps as you can in 18 minutes.” Turns out, I can do 6 reps. It’s not very fast, but I was also trying to not kill my back with the kettle bells.

Wednesday (7 miles) 8 miles – Achieved the mileage in 2 runs. I ran 3 miles on my lunch break and an additional 5 miles with Fleet Feet San Diego. The latter run unfortunately wasn’t very good. I started out strong, but it was too fast. By the time I hit 4 miles, I was burning out and praying that I’d have a reason to stop and rest for a bit before running again. LOL. Luckily, I did run into someone so I got a breathing break.

By this day, I could feel that my body wasn’t dealing with the running very well. I was trying to go too fast and too hard. Then, that night, I experienced a really bad Charlie horse, one where I was sore for 24 hours even after thorough stretching and foam rolling.

Thursday (5 miles) 5 miles – Without a run group to meet up with and the fact that my calves were still really sore, I just dragged myself to the gym and ran an easy 5 miles on the treadmill.

Friday (Rest) 5 burpees followed by 5 back squats every minute on the minute – When my trainer put the schedule on the board, I thought, “Oh awesome. I’ll have a lot of rest time in between each set. I can knock out the burpees and squats in a few seconds. No problem.” Oh how naive I was. I maybe had 10 – 15 seconds to catch my breath and after the workout, I could barely feel my arms. I hate burpees. LOL.

Saturday (12 miles) 9 miles – Lululemon was celebrating 20 years of being open and in honor of their 10th year in San Diego, they hosted a little fun run relay. A team of 4 would cover about 20ish miles from Carlsbad to San Diego. 🙂 Registration included a Lululemon racer tank and a post finish brunch with mimosas. 🙂 I love their gear and at $45 a person, I figured why not. I was the last leg, which was about 4.5 miles. Since I needed a longer run, I decided to park at the finish and run to the start and then run back to the finish giving me 9 miles. What I didn’t anticipate though was the elevation going up to the start. LOL. IMG_9454

My relay team did end up getting first place so I guess I didn’t slow my team down too much. 🙂

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Sunday (Rest) Yoga – Every Sunday at Balboa park, there is a yoga meet up group. Everyone brings their own yoga mat and does yoga on the lawn. This was my first meet up and it was much harder doing yoga on an uneven surface. I think I’ll keep it in rotation for my workouts to mix things up a bit. 🙂

Total mileage: 28 miles/28 miles

So I hit my weekly mileage, but at the cost of some aches and pains. I also didn’t really have a real rest day, which I think my body really needed. This week, I will be focusing more on listening to my body and do easier runs. Wish me luck!

Question for you: Do you get Charlie horses? How do you get them to go away quickly? I tried holding onto the muscle that was spasming, but it didn’t help and it was extremely painful. 😦 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – A Balancing Act

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Honolulu 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.

Boom. I’ve just finished week 5 of Honolulu marathon training and I’m uhh kind of hitting a bump in the road. Since I started cross training, I haven’t really been able to do any runs 3+ miles without having to take a walk break. I’m not sure if it’s in my head, but I think I might be putting too much stress on my body or I’m not sleeping enough. Sigh.

Week 5 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 4 miles – Happy Labor Day! Started the day with a gnarly hill run. The elevation increase was kind of quick from the start, which was probably not the smartest choice and my calves were just not dealing with them well. I had to walk quite a bit to stretch them out.

Tuesday (Rest) 4 rounds of 1 min burpees/box jumps, 1 min ball slams, 1 min V sit ups, 1 min rest – Burpees just kill me every time. Every single time. The day after this work out, my entire body was sore. LOL

Wednesday (6 miles) 6.5 miles – Broke this run into 2. Ran 2 on the treadmill and 4.5 outside. 🙂

Thursday (5 miles) 3.2 miles – The Craft Classic San Diego race has been having social runs at a brewery once a month to promote their race on October 21st. A friend was organizing the event and I couldn’t pass up a raffle that they were having with the run so I went. I ended up winning a gift card so it was a good day. 🙂 Heh.

Friday (Rest) Very quick stretching – I had recently bought a yoga mat and spent about 10 minutes trying to stretch before my long run on Saturday.

Saturday (10 miles) 11 mile long run with 1650 meter swim – Oh god. I went insane on Saturday. I had logged 14 miles over the week and was a mile short going into the weekend so I tacked on the extra mile in this run. Apparently, the stretching the night before did very little to help my running because for the first 4 miles, my legs were very tight and only 5 miles in did I finally hit my stride. 😦 I did feel very strong the rest of the way though. And of course, since I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided that running 11 miles wasn’t enough and added on about a 1 mile of swimming just for kicks. LOL.

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Sunday (Rest) Yoga – After having so much tightness in my calves, I decided to attend another yoga class. Even though I knew it was good for me, I still dreaded doing it. Even 30 minutes into class, I kept looking at my watch hoping the time would pass by faster. LOL. But the funny thing is that 55 minutes into yoga when the instructor told everyone to sit and touch their toes, I still couldn’t, but I could tell that I was making progress. The stretch in my hamstrings felt really soothing and for that brief 2 minutes, I felt happy at yoga. LOL.

Thoughts of the week: This week wasn’t super great for running, but I did hit the mileage. 25/25 miles! Weight lifting was tough, but swimming and yoga felt easier, which is a relief.

Oh and I’m a bit worried that weight training is hurting my running. Does anyone have experience with weight training and running? What should I do? Any suggestions?

Posted in Running, Training

Feel the OoFoam – Running Recovery in my Oofos Fibre Lows

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos OOMG Fibre Low shoes 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. 

Last year, I was able to test out the Oofos sandals, which you can read about in the Post-Marathon Recovery. I had just run the Chicago marathon and recovering in those sandals was the best choice I ever made.

For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been able to test out their OOMG Fibre low shoes, which is their first set of actual shoes. One of the downsides of wearing the sandals was that it wasn’t work appropriate so despite having run a race on Sunday, I would have to hobble into work on Monday with regular shoes. Now that I have these shoes, I can wear them into work with no issues. 🙂 Hooray!

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I so fancy in my new Oofos fibre lows

Their fibre low shoes has the same technology as their sandals. The shoes are made of OOfoam, which is their patented technology that has been scientifically proven to absorb 37% more impact than other footwear. Because it absorbs more of the impact, it allows your body to recover faster and I’m all about recovering faster. 🙂 Their footbed is also designed to cradle your arches. Hooray!

I initially had some issues walking in the shoes as the back of the shoe would sometimes dig into the ankles, but after some wear, this no longer became an issue. These shoes can be worn with or without socks. I was initially worried that my feet would sweat too much and that some chafing would occur so I wore them with socks. I then later took the plunge and tried them without socks and they were just as good. I didn’t experience any chafing. 🙂

I haven’t been able to try these shoes post-marathon or anything, but based on the feel of it, I can attest that there really is no difference in their technology between the sandal and the shoe. If you love their sandals and want to wear their shoe version, this is the one to try. In terms of sizing, I wear a size 8 in running shoes so I chose a size 8 in these and they fit perfectly. They’re not too narrow allowing your feet to sit comfortably.

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Just strolling around in my shoes kissing bunnies 🙂

One last thing to note is that 3% of their OOFOS.com sales goes towards breast cancer research through Project Pink. Their Director of Marketing was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer and in an effort to support her, they are donating $10 of their Project Pink shoes or 3% of their other shoe sales towards Dana-Farber Breast Cancer Research.

If you have any questions about these shoes, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer any of your questions. If you’re interested in reading more reviews, other BibRave Pros have tried them and you can find their reviews below:

Amy W – Joe – Teddy – Danielle – Vanessa – Melissa – Amy SRyanKevin – Amanda – Juan – Alastair

 More reviews will be posted as soon as they’re written. 🙂

Question for you: How do you recover after a run? Do you slip into some comfy shoes? Take an epsom salt bath? Both? Let me know. I’m looking into recovery methods outside of wearing my Oofos.