Posted in Marathon Mondays, Race Reports, Running

Aloha Honolulu…Marathon

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.

Aloha! I have returned from my mini racecation in Honolulu and I come bearing stories of my adventures with the Honolulu marathon. 🙂 Let’s get right into it, shall we? Apologies in advance for the long recap.

I arrived in Honolulu with my boyfriend on a Friday afternoon after a 6 hour flight and was ready to stretch my legs. Luckily for me, I had to walk about a mile to get to the Hawaii Convention Center from my AirBnB so those legs were well stretched. 🙂 We arrived at the Convention Center, grabbed our bibs, bought some last minute gels I forgot to bring, and headed out.

The Expo

The expo itself is a bit different in that it caters to a LOT of Japanese people. If you weren’t aware, the Honolulu marathon is a destination race for many many Japanese tourists. They even have a specific registration link to use when signing up. There were signs in Japanese and lots of people at booths who spoke both Japanese and English. I’m also pretty sure I passed by a booth with only Japanese characters on them.  🙂

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Now fast forward to Sunday – Race Day

We missed both of our first alarms, but thankfully I set a second one and  we woke up to that one. I had never scrambled out of my house so quickly for a race before. We were out of our AirBnB in maybe 20 minutes or less and past me was smart enough to stay close to the start line so we made it to the race with 15 minutes to spare. Like Disney races, the Honolulu marathon releases the runners with an amazing fireworks display.

Fun fact: They accompanied the fireworks display with the song “Firework” by Katy Perry. 

With the release of the fireworks, I was off. My boyfriend and I had planned to stay together until at least mile 8 where the first big hill hits, but within 0.6 miles, he knew we were at different paces and told me to go on without him and that he’d be meet me at the finish line. After some more encouragement from him, I left and was making my way through the 26.2 miles.

Fact: The Honolulu marathon does not stagger their corrals. When they start to release the corrals, it is one big wave of runners crossing the start line. They also are not very strict about people lining up in the correct corrals, which means if you’re faster, make sure to be as close to the front as possible. 

I did weave a bit at the beginning to pass the slower runners, but I also did not want to expend unnecessary energy and bided my time until the course cleared up a bit.

Fun Fact: It did not clear up significantly until mile 4. LOL

For the first few miles, we ran through Downtown Honolulu and saw a lot of Christmas decor. At mile 4, we ended up looping back near the start line and made our way into Waikiki. At mile 5, I saw Team BibRave and Aftershokz cheering us on and that squad kickstarted all of the feelings. LOL

Interesting fact: I normally do not have people cheering me on with the exception of a few races so when I see people I know cheering me on, I get really excited and happy. 

At mile 7, we start making our way around the base of Diamond Head and at mile 8, we make it up our first hill. From mile 7 to mile 10, we experienced crazy headwind. It made for a very unique and fun experience as I had never raced during such windy conditions and for a few brief moments, I really thought I’d fly away. LOL. At mile 12 or 13, I saw the first of many BibRave runners making their way back towards the finish line.

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Fun Fact: From mile 11 to 15, you can see runners coming back as they make their way from mile 18 to 21.5. I was able to see the first place male and female runners this way.

With each BibRave runner I saw, the happier I got. 🙂 Everyone appeared so strong and happy on the course that it gave me boosts of energy to keep going. At mile 15, I encountered my first sponge dipped in ice water and was over the moon. LOL. There had been warnings of runners getting heat stroke and I was adamant about staying cool even if that meant walking through every aid station and getting water.

At mile 17, I heard someone yell “BIBRAVE” from behind me and I turned around to see a total stranger smiling at me. LOL. I had no idea who he was at the time, but he turned out to be affiliated with BibRave and was just happy to be chatting with someone. 🙂 Unfortunately, at that point, my energy was waning a bit and we parted when I stopped to take a few photos. I did pick up a bit of speed when I saw my boyfriend near mile 19 (He was near 14). 🙂

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I don’t know when I developed a blister on the bottom of my foot, but I did realize it at mile 19 and knew that the last set of miles were going to be painful. I knew that my cheer squad would be at mile 20 so I walked for parts of mile 19 and made sure to look strong as I passed them at mile 20. Yes, there is power in a cheer squad. Never let them see you falter. LOL I kid.

For the next 5 miles, I hit the struggle bus. The sun had started to come out and mile 20-25 were a gradual incline that never seemed to end. There were even Taiko drummers there to keep us going. Luckily, the last mile and a half was primarily  downhill and I ran through the pain and ran it as fast as I could to finish with a time of 4:35:38.

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Post-Race Festivities

Crossing that finish line felt like winning a million bucks. Okay, maybe not a million, but maybe $1,000. Haha. I grabbed my checked bag with my Oofos sandals and sat down to massage my legs and switch out of my shoes. I then grabbed my finisher’s shirt and a Portuguese fried donut (Malasada) to munch on and waited for my boyfriend to finish.

Interesting Fact: Gear check is actually done the day before the marathon. This allows for less stress the morning of. 

He finished in a little over 6 hours and we both headed out of the marathon quickly to avoid traffic and to nap ASAP. 🙂

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How was my experience overall? 

I had a wonderful time running the race and although, there were some dark moments (mile 20-25), there were also a lot of wonderful memories that I will always have now. 🙂 I highly recommend running this race if you ever get the chance. Now to patiently await for my results on Athlinks to show up so I can can claim them. 😛

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Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Only Two Week Left until the Honolulu Marathon

And just like that, there are 2 weeks left until the Honolulu marathon. TWO WEEKS. OMG, I am FREAKING OUT right now. LOL.

With the Thanksgiving weekend giving me some time off work, I was finally able to complete the designated mileage listed in my training plan indicated below. I actually exceeded the planned mileage by 1 mile so go me. 🙂

(Planned mileage) Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 5 miles

Tuesday (Rest) 4.6 miles

Wednesday (10 miles) Rest

Thursday (5 miles) 3.1 (Turkey Trot) + 7 miles

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday (Rest) Swim

So let’s talk about why I’m freaking out. I have been keeping up with my long runs so I know I can do the distance. The thing I can’t account for is the heat and humidity in Honolulu. I’ve been checking the weather in Honolulu this week and the low is 70F at 5 am with humidity at 90%. The race starts at 5 am soooo if this week’s weather is any indication of the weather in 2 weeks, I am doomed!

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My last 18 mile long run

I don’t do very well in humid weather so I am a bit concerned at how this marathon will go. You can bet that I will be hydrating a ton while in Hawaii and will also be using A LOT OF BODY GLIDE. No chafing thank you very much. LOL.

With regards to my race goals, I think that my mail goal will be to complete the full. It would be nice to finish faster than my Walt Disney World time of 5:28:42 or even a sub 5, but I’m also okay completing it without an injury.

To say that I’m looking forward to the following two weeks of training is an understatement. During my 18 miler this past Saturday, my knee was acting up at mile 15 and was telling me to stop. Since I was only 3 miles away from being done, I just put one foot in front of the other until I finished. It was grueling and there were some tears being shed near the end of that 18 miler, not because of the pain, but because I had reached the peak of my training. LOL. I am over the moon to not be running 18+ miles every other week. LOL. Now, only to finish that pesky 26.2 miler. 😛

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My Fleet Feet San Diego Family on Turkey Trot Day

This weekend, I have a much more manageable 12 miler. Hooray! I will also be in Austin for TRE Influencer Day so I’ll be able to run in a new environment making for a much more exciting run. More details about my experience at TRE influencer day next month so stay tuned. 🙂

Questions for you: Have any of you been to Honolulu? I’m still looking up things to do and eat. Any must try food items? 🙂 Nothing too questionable as I don’t want to repeat my Chicago marathon experience. LOL

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Another 18 miler is in the books!

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.

Week 13 of Honolulu marathon training is officially done. Hooray!

I would like to say that the hardest part is over, but then that would be lie because my hardest week is actually this week with an expected weekly mileage of 40 miles and a long run of 20 miles. LOL.

Despite the longer long runs, I don’t actually feel incredibly fatigued. That being said, I did sleep 12 hours the night of my 18 miler. LOL. I have been missing my weekly mileage the past couple of weeks, but not by much so I think I’m not doing too bad with training. I have also hit all of my long run miles so that’s a bonus. If there’s anything I’ve learned in marathon training, it is to NOT skip out on my long runs. I will skip the shorter ones if I have to, but I make damn sure to check off on the long runs because those runs are the ones that mentally and physically prepare me for the marathon distance.

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During those long runs, I practice my fueling strategy. I test different gels (Hammer Nutrition, HoneyStinger, Gatorade Endurance) and I test when I need to hydrate. I have not yet hit the infamous “wall,” and I honestly don’t plan to. I’d rather fuel more than I need to rather than not fuel enough. I’m a wimp when it comes to pain.

Speaking of pain, my long runs are a great time to test where I typically chafe. According to a friend, she makes fire with her thighs, which is why she can’t wear shorts during her long runs. Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever made fire with my thighs, but there have been a few close calls. LOL It’s probably a good survival skill though if I’m being honest. 😛 My lower back and my arms are also common places where I chafe. With Honolulu being pretty humid, I expect the likelihood of chafing to be an all time high and am planning on body gliding it up. Hehe.

This past 18 miler wasn’t easy (ie it was hilly), but I think I took it like a champ; Although, I think my boyfriend might beg to differ. 😛 Due to his injury from last weekend, he wasn’t in a great place to run with me so he volunteered to skateboard alongside me for 18 MILES. LOL. Fortunately, there were a lot of things to see along the run so I think he was cool hanging out with me for 3.5 hours. He even took footage of my awkward running (Check my IG for that video) and got some cool photos. 🙂

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Week 13 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned) Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 6.03 miles

Tuesday (Rest) 5.02 miles

Wednesday (10 miles) 5.3 miles

Thursday (5 miles) Rest

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

Weekly mileage: 37/34.2

So I missed my weekly mileage by 2.8 miles, but it’s not a big deal. I closed out October with 144.8 miles, which is my highest mileage of the year. Not too bad. 🙂 Another week down and another 5 more to go before Honolulu. Wheee!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – The Trials and Tribulations of Marathon Training

Why hello there readers! I am done with another week of Honolulu marathon training meaning that I am 12 weeks into my 18 week training program. That means I have 6 more weeks before conquering the Honolulu marathon. Eek.

Am I totally stoked to be running the Honolulu marathon? Hell yes. Am I excited to be putting in 6 more weeks of marathon training? Nope. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, there are lot of joys in marathon training, but there are also sacrifices that must be made during the training season.

This week, I want to talk a little bit about the ups and downs of marathon training.

Marathon training is no joke. It’s not something that you can easily do and for those who say otherwise, they’re lying. LOL. Marathon training requires time, A LOT of it. I have given up lots of Friday nights binge watching Big Bang Theory in order to go running early Saturday mornings. I know. I lead a very exciting night life. LOL. I have also given up a lot of sleeping in on Saturday mornings because I know that if I miss my group run, the possibility of me running later goes from 100% to 0%. IMG_0369

In addition to time, you are putting your body through a TON of stress. I have experienced lower back pain, knee pain, and lost more toenails than I care to admit due to marathon training. I mean, the lower back pain was probably just me getting older, but the knee pain and the toenails were definitely attributed to marathon training. In all honesty, I don’t mind losing the toenails as much. It’s kind of a source of pride for me nowadays. I’m a runner and that’s the type of thing that can happen. LOL. I also find it really funny when non-runners are grossed out by it.

So why do I run or put myself through it? Maybe I’m a masochist. I’m actually not sure. LOL. But I do know that I love running. I love pushing myself to what I believe are my limits and then  breaking them. I love finishing a 10 mile run Saturday morning when my non-runner friends are just waking up. I love the camaraderie that comes along with running with friends. You’d be surprised how much you and friends can talk about on a 3 hour long run. LOL. You also suffer and bond together. 😛 Last, but not least, runners are kind of cool. 🙂

The reason I wanted to discuss the ups and downs of marathon training is because of something that happened this past week. On Saturday, my boyfriend jumped off a curb while running and sprained his ankle. We were starting our 12 mile run and within 5 minutes of running, he landed on his ankle wrong and it swelled up A LOT. It’s too early to tell, but there is a possibility that he won’t be able to run the marathon with me. 😦 I’m hoping that it will heal up quickly and he can resume training, but if he can’t run it, it’s still a-okay. 🙂 I will just run it solo and he can watch or sleep in while I run 26.2 miles. LOL.

And just to keep consistent with all of my other marathon mondays, a recap of my training below. I unfortunately have not been doing as much cross training, but I did do a short trail run on Thursday and climbed up a crazy mountain that was only 0.1 miles in length, but had a 275 feet gain. I also got a laser engraved pumpkin from the trail run, which was AWESOME. I was short 2.3 miles in my training plan, but considering I have another 18 miler coming up next week, I’m going to take all the rest I can get. 🙂

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Week 12 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles

Tuesday (Rest) Rest

Wednesday (8 miles) 5 miles

Thursday (6 miles) 1.58 miles Trail

Friday (Rest) 3 miles

Saturday (12 miles) 12 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

Question for you: What ups and downs of training have you experienced? 

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 Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Whatever it takes

Week 10 of Honolulu Marathon training was a bit intense, but luckily I got through it more or less. 🙂

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles – I had run 14 miles the day before and normally in most training plans, they will tell you to rest the day after your long run. Due to some inflexibility in my schedule in the middle of the week, I couldn’t rest. So I ran 6 miles and it actually wasn’t so bad. I was shocked that my body was adjusting so easily. Probably because my body was thanking me for not putting it through another grueling 14 miler. Anything under 8 miles is easy, right? LOL Yeah, right.

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Tuesday (Rest) 4.3 miles – I normally don’t run on Tuesdays, but I couldn’t run on Wednesday so I met up with a run group and did some interval work. As tired as I am, I always finish intervals with a feeling of satisfaction because I give it 100%. I start off slow and progressively get faster. The faster I get, the stronger I feel. That is, until I gas out because I didn’t pace myself well enough. LOL 🙂

Wednesday (8 miles) Rest – After 4 straight days of running, my body was ready for a break.

Thursday (6 miles) 4 miles – My boyfriend joined me on a night run around a bay. 🙂 Trying to get him to enjoy the running process has been a challenge, but I think he’s not hating it so I’ll take that as a win.

Friday (Rest) Rest – My body was trashed by the end of the week so I took another rest day with no active recovery.

Saturday (15 miles) 4 miles – I was missing 4 miles before my long run so I did a 4 miler with a friend who was getting back into running.

Sunday (Rest) 15 miles – When life gives you an official unofficial half marathon and a scheduled 15 mile long run, you combine the two and have yourself a great time. The local running shoe store, Milestone Running, hosted it’s second annual official unofficial half marathon this past weekend. It’s called their official unofficial because roads were not blocked off for this race. This was about a hundred or so people getting together, running a 13.1 mile course, and getting paper crowns as our medals. Haha. People also brought food as there was a potluck at the end. Because I had 15 miles planned, my friend and I parked a bit further away and ran to the start line and after the race, ran back to the car. Nice planning, right? 🙂

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The 15 miler was really tough for me, but I think that because I ran with lots of people, I was mentally a lot stronger. It also helped that some of the others were doing ultra long runs like 20+ and that made me push harder because I just needed to get to 15. 🙂

Thoughts of the week: It was really difficult getting those planned miles in, but miraculously I did. I will continue to find a way to get them in, but if I don’t, it’ll still be okay. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. With 7 or so weeks to go, I suspect that I will miss some miles here and there, but keeping myself injury free is more important. One of my knees is starting to feel like it’s going to buckle so I will have to be very careful the next few weeks. Eek! Wish me luck!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Another 30 mile Training Week and my PBFest 5k Race Report

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.

Sooooo turns out, now I’m actually halfway done. LOL. I didn’t realize I was a week off until the end of my long run on Sunday when the audio on my Motigo Training Plan said I was halfway done. Oops. It feels like I took a few steps back, but that’s okay. I’m still pushing forward. There’s still quite a bit of doubt in my mind, but I think I’m resilient enough to get through my fourth round of marathon training. 🙂 This week was kind of all over the place because I had some runs I had planned to go that didn’t really adhere to the schedule. More on that below.

Week 9 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles – Starting my run with a run group always gives me that extra push that I need to do extra miles. That’s why I rarely adhere to my Monday planned miles. Hah. Those extra miles also give me a buffer in case I slack off later in the week day. 😊

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Tuesday (Rest) Rest – I spoke to my trainer and after mentioning that my pecs still hurt from dips last week, he suggested just taking a real rest day where I did nothing. I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. LOL 😊 Hooray!

Wednesday (7 miles) 5.5 miles – The miles were slow, but the run was much more enjoyable, which is a bonus in my book.

Thursday (6 miles) 3.2 miles – On Thursdays, I usually run on the treadmill, but there was 5k social run for the Craft Classic San Diego half so I jumped at the opportunity to run outside. There was a pretty steep hill, but I thought it was a better alternative to running in one place.

Friday (Rest) Banded dead lifts – Why on earth do people do dead lifts? LOL. I tried these banded dead lifts with just an empty bar bell and it was a bit difficult. (I’m so weak😂) I also looked super awkward doing them so maybe that’s why I don’t like them. I even tried recording myself doing them so I could see my form and it was just so horrendous that I deleted it. LOL. I guess this will just be something that I have to work on.

Saturday (13 miles) 3.1 miles – So I had a 5k race scheduled on Saturday that messed up my running schedule a bit. I didn’t run as long earlier in the week because I knew I had to run twice during the weekend. My friend really wanted me to do the Pacific Beach Fest 5k with him and when I got a free race entry to do it, I figured why not?

The course starts out on the beach and for a mile and a half, you’re running on the beach and trying to avoid the tide. I probably should have looked into beach running a bit more before attempting this because I think I did it wrong. I didn’t want to get my shoes wet so I ran more along the looser part of the sand, which also happened to be the least stable of the sand. With each step that I took, it felt like I was using a lot more of my calf muscles to propel forward. I did end up getting closer to the tide, but whenever the tide came in, I had to make sure to move in as to not get wet. After the mile and a half of beach, you get to turn around and run on pavement. This was a godsend. I had never been so relieved to be running on pavement. LOL. Too bad pavement running didn’t last long. About a mile on pavement, they directed us back into the sand for the last half mile. I was devastated. LOL. My legs were really burnt out and after that, I vowed to not do another beach run ever again. Of course, this could change after time has passed and I forget how painful it was. LOL 😊

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Sunday (Rest) 13 miles – I woke up on Sunday with dread as I didn’t have my usual run group to go with. The first three miles were really tough. My legs still felt heavy from the beach run and I wasn’t sure if I could make it to 13 miles. Then miraculously, they loosened up and I started planning my route. I found that one of the perks of running solo is that I was in charge of the route. If I wanted to go right, I’d go right. I may have been too in charge of my route as I got lost a few times, but hey, that’s part of the fun.

Total Mileage (30 miles) 30.9 miles

Training has been tough, but I don’t think I’ve ever had an easy training cycle. I think it’s just part of the process and as everyone says, I’m trying to enjoy the process. But seriously, dead lifts and beach running sucks. 😊

Question for you: Do you like beach running? Or what is your favorite type of running? Beach? Trail? Road? Not running at all? LOL