Posted in Daily happenings, Running, Thoughts

Adios April, it’s May Time!

Another month has gone by and holy smokes, it’s May! That means it’s another monthly recap. This is my probably my favorite part about the end of the month. I get to look at my calendar and see all the things I did. It makes me feel productive. 🙂 Without further adieu, my recap of the month below. Disclaimer: This month was very running focused. You have been warned!

Races – This was probably a record breaking month for me in terms of races. I kicked off April with the Carlsbad5000, in which I broke a personal record.IMG_8513 I hadn’t PRed in the 5k distance in 3 years so this was a total shock to me and honestly, I’ll probably still be riding the PR wave for a few months. 🙂 The following weekend, I ran another 5k the Triton 5k at the university I attend. Then two weekends after, I ran my 13th half marathon at the La Jolla Half where I crushed my course PR and ran another sub 2 hour half marathon. Thats 3 sub 2 hour halfs now. Yay! Maybe I can qualify for the Boston marathon one day. A girl can dream, right? 

Group Runs – I’m typically a solo runner. My schedule is just too unpredictable to schedule runs with friends, but this month, I made an effort to go out and run with others. I participated in two group runs this month and I had so much fun that you can bet I’ll be doing more in the future.

Adventure Runs, a scavenger hunt-like run held by Road Runner Sports, was the first group run I attended this month. These runs are held once a month and start at their store. At the start of the run, they unveil a map with locations you can run to in order to get raffle tickets. You have one hour to run so the faster you run, the more raffle tickets you can get. Once the hour is up, everyone returns to the start and Road Runner Sports raffles off prizes. If you’re over 21, they also have a beer garden. The best part? Everything is free. You don’t have to pay to run and the beer is free. What more could you want from a run? LOL.

My second group run was for a course preview of the San Diego Rock N Roll races that will be occurring in June. Movin’ Shoes, a local shoe store, organized this course preview and I thought it’d be a fantastic thing to try out. I’m running the half marathon in June and even though I had run it in previous years, I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to run part of the course again in preparation for the race. Plus, it would push me to get my ass out of bed early and log 9 miles before 9 am. (The full marathon course preview was 15 miles and that was just not happening for me. LOL).

I went into this run not knowing anyone and finished it with a few new friends. I also finished that run feeling like a champ and super grateful I didn’t opt for the full course preview. LOL. I also found out that Movin’ Shoes has weekly groups runs so I’ll be trying to make it out to a few more long runs in preparation for my upcoming races. Woohoo!

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RnR SD course preview done and a vanilla chai latte earned!
Mileage and Motivation – Last month, I missed my monthly mileage goal. This month, I hit it right on target. I logged 83 miles for April! I am still on track for 1000 miles in 2017! Hooray!IMG_9119I’m extremely happy at my progress this year. I was starting to struggle midway through March and was really doubting whether I could have hit all of my running goals for the year. Then, at the beginning of April, I got this pin along with a letter from a friend.

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A pin with my instagram/twitter handle on it
In her letter, she thanked me for being a constant source of inspiration for her and honestly, I was shocked. When I started running, I did it for me. I still do, but I’m glad that I can also inspire my friends to reach for their goals too. 🙂

Yelp Elite Event and another Clothing Swap – It may be hard to believe, but yes, yes, I do other things that isn’t running. Shocking, right? I have been a yelp elite member for several years now and I love going to their events. This month, I was lucky enough to get into their Flower Fields event. At the event, we got to taste delicious food and also frolick around the flower fields.

View More: http://actionbooth.pass.us/yelptbt
My friend Lindy and I
I also attended another clothing swap and got some new articles of clothing, two of which I’m wearing in the above photo. I love leggings and a cropped leather jacket suits me just fine. 🙂 Clothing swaps are the best way to donate clothes and get some new clothes in exchange AND it’s free! I mean, how awesome is that? This is especially awesome if you have a stylish friend you want to exchange clothes with. 😉

So there you have it, my jam packed April. There were other things I did, but didn’t want to bore you with the details. 🙂 How was your April? Do anything fun? What’s in store for May? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Time Traveling to Me 10+ years ago

With it being Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be appropriate to post a picture or two from my first half marathon at the 2014 San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon.

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At my first Health and Fitness Expo
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And after finishing my first half

Now let’s go further back in time about 10+ years to when I was in high school.

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Wasn’t I just the cutest? Braces and all? 🙂

10+ years ago, I HATED running. Running sucked. My lungs always felt like they were on fire and it was JUST one mile. I will admit this was also probably due to my TERRIBLE eating habits. I mean, who knew eating a bag of flaming hot fritos a day would do terrible things to your body? They have really got to emphasize this in middle school. If you have kids, instill good eating habits in them. Do not have them repeat my mistakes. Eating a bag of chips a day will ruin you. 

Anyway, I digress. The point is I was not a fan of running back then. One year, my track and field coach had everyone run 400 meters. He wanted to see if we had potential. Yeah, I didn’t (at least not that I could see at the time). I was a long/triple jumper. I had big calves. And those calves were meant for jumping. Not for speed work. And not for 400 meters. But I ran it anyway. I ran for the 400 meters at full speed and ended up collapsing at the finish line. How embarassing. My pride was hurt and after that incident, I told myself that I was NEVER going to be a real runner.

Fast forward to the present

I’ve come along way since then. Something that I hated years and years ago, I now love. I’ve completed 11 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and am on my way to completing my 2nd full. I also have a plan for the future, which I’ll write about soon. 🙂 It’s a good one, I promise.

So what about you? Have you accomplished something that you originally didn’t think was possible? What crazy plans do you have for your future? #mindovermatter

 

Posted in Running

Hello 2017! I’m going to own you.

Hello 2017! 2016 was a great year so let’s make this one an even better one, okay? I decided that this year, I’d go all out and make lots of goals for myself. You never know if you can do them if you don’t try, right? That’s what 2016 taught me. Below are some of my goals for the year.

2017-goals

Professional goals – Like the name implies, these goals are for my work life. I’m a graduate student in my 5th year. PhDs in our program typically take around 5 – 6 years to graduate. After year 7, we lose our funding so it’s implied that you must graduate before then. My advisor and I have discussed about graduating this summer so why not make it a goal and make it more attainable? 🙂

Although it’s never stated in the guidelines, students are expected to publish 1st author papers to graduate. It’s the “Publish or Perish” mentality. I am currently working on experiments for a paper so hopefully, I get published this year.

The obvious thing to do after I graduate is to get a job. More importantly, I want to get a job that I enjoy. I’ve been holding informational interviews with various people in the biology field and hope that I will be able to find one that suits me soon. The last two goals are to help me improve my productivity. I believe that by getting to work earlier, I’ll be more productive and less stressed. I also spend more time on Facebook than I’m willing to admit so cutting down on my time spent there should also be beneficial.

Fitness goals – In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” 🙂 It’s my favorite line of all time because it’s true. Exercise does make me a happier person and everyone deserves to be happy.

Last year’s goal was to just run 50 more miles than 2015. This year, I’m going to push my limits a bit more. I’m going to try and run 1000 miles. During those 1000 miles, I hope to finish my second marathon in Chicago, beat my PR in any distance, and run streak for at least 100 days. I finished the #RWRunStreak challenge on January 1st and was originally going to stop.

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#RWRunSreak Challenge completed

On January 2nd, I went out for a run anyway. I didn’t feel tired. With the new year, I felt energized and decided to run streak for an additional 61 days. It will be tough, but I want to see how far I can push my limits. At 100 days, I’ll reevaluate and go from there. I do have a marathon to train for later in the year and I’ll definitely need to rest then.

My last three goals will be to strengthen my body overall. I’ve started lifting weights here and there and hope to round that out with stretching (possibly yoga) and eating healthier. Note that these goals are all miminums. If I do better than expected, then go me!

Happiness goals – I aim to be a happier version of myself and I hope the goals I’ve listed out will help me do just that. Blogging was extremely fun for me last year so I’ll continue to do it. It also helps me reorganize my thoughts and that’s always a good thing.

This year, I would like to try and give back to the community. I felt privileged growing up. I wasn’t wealthy, but my family got by just fine (with some occasional fundraising for team uniforms). I’m already scheduled to volunteer at a race later this month and I’m super excited to be the one giving out waters instead of getting them.

Last, but not least, I want to do another 100 Happy Day challenge. More often than not, we take what we have for granted and don’t appreciate the everyday things. I did this challenge a few years ago when sh*t was hitting the fan and it gave me a lot of perspective. I want to do it again sometime this year when things get too busy and I forget to just stop and enjoy what I have.

Woohoo! There you have it – my goals for 2017. What are your goals for this year? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

A Year of Running in Review – 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve everyone! With the year coming to a close, I figured I’d recap my year of running and boy was it a fantastic year. 🙂
Best race experience: Oh man, that’s a tough one. Can we just call it a tie between the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon and the TCS NYC marathon? With the San Diego Holiday Half, I PRed by a full 8 and a half minutes and with the TCS NYC marathon, I RAN IT. It was my first marathon and with such an amazing crowd support, it was the most fun I ever had in a race.

Best run: Hmm, I would have to say running my 20 miler 2 weeks before my first full marathon. I was in a happy mood all morning and was able to keep a steady pace for the full 20 miles. It was at that moment that I realized I could actually finish a marathon because 6.2 more miles was nothing anymore.

Best new piece of running gear: I bought 3 pairs of running shoes. Two pair of Brooks Ghost 8 and a pair of New Balance Vazee 2090. LOL. I just couldn’t help myself. The Ghosts helped cushion my feet and the Vazee 2090’s helped a lot with speed work. I never thought I’d be able to run that fast. haha

Best running advice you’ve received this year: When you’re really tired, repeat a mantra over and over again to get you through. Mine was basically a pep talk to myself. “You got this. Push it!”

Most inspirational runner: I would have to say it’d be Kelly Roberts. I really like reading stories from runners that I can relate to. I discovered her blog recently and her posts have been extremely motivating. After reading her struggles, I think that if she can do it, so can I.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This picture definitely takes the cake. I finished my first ever marathon with a sub 5 time and a negative split. Of course, I’d kiss my hard earned medal.

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: TCS NYC marathon – I had such a blast and would run it again, no doubt.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Your limits are only defined by you.
Thanks Courtney for the Year of Running questions!
How was your year of running? Did you accomplish your goals? PR? What’s in store for 2017? 
Posted in Running, Thoughts

The Races I Chose for 2017 and Why

It’s official. I have FINALLY finalized my 2017 racing schedule. At least, I hope it’s finalized. And without further ado, my racing schedule for 2017:

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More information can be found on my page: Upcoming Races

A lot of time and effort, not to mention money, went into picking out the above races. Things I take into consideration while picking a race?

  • Cost – This one is obvious. I’m a graduate student. I can’t afford to run all the races I want to run. This year, I spent over $600 on registrations alone. That’s for 6 races. Holy moly. That’s crazy. Whoever said running was free lied. Shoes, registrations, body glide, nutrition gels – they’re not cheap, but I love running so much, I don’t mind cutting my costs elsewhere. The Great Chocolate Race in Long Beach was so cheap that I jumped at the chance. Also, I get free chocolate. I love chocolate.
  • Location – I’m based in San Diego so I’m more willing to race in my town. That’s why I signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon. I love running around my hometown. Traveling adds to the cost (Hotels, flights), but if the race is amazing enough, I will make the trek. 🙂
  • Size and Reputation – I like bigger races. Something about running with others makes me happy and don’t we all want to be happy? 🙂 Also, bigger races usually mean a better reputation (Chicago Marathon, SeaWheeze Half Marathon, and Las Vegas Rock N Roll). If I’m going to pay money to run, that run better be damn fun.
  • Medal – Most races don’t release their medals until a few months before the race. At that point, registration fees are higher. And since I take cost into high consideration, I won’t have usually seen the medals until after I’ve signed up. Sometimes, I’ll look into the previous year’s medal and decide based on that.
  • Redundancy – Have I run that race before? If I have, it’s lower on my list to run. I don’t typically like to run the same race twice because let’s be honest; there are so many races out there and there’s only so little time. There are a few exceptions to this rule of mine though. The San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon was my first half marathon and will always have a special place in my heart. I will probably run that one every year until my legs can’t run no more. Maybe I can one day be the oldest person to complete that race. A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂 Another race I’d run again? The NYC Marathon because WOW; that was just an amazing experience and the most fun I ever had while running. PERIOD. And that’s saying a lot because that’s TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO freaking miles.

What races are you running in 2017? Any of them you’re particularly excited about? And what do you take into consideration when registering for a race? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Chicago Marathon here I come!

Hello lovelies!

I just wanted to share with you all today that I received an entry into the Chicago Marathon! HOORAY! After entering the lottery last month, I’ve been counting down the days until the results were announced. And now that I’m in, I couldn’t be happier. chicagomarathon

When I first embarked on the marathon path, I only planned on running one marathon. I’d do it and then I’d be done – a one and doner. Little did I know that once I embarked on that journey, I wouldn’t actually be stopping at one marathon. I don’t know how many I’ll do in my lifetime, but I’m not stopping any time soon. Here’s to my entry into my second marathon!

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Cheers!

Did you get into the 2017 Chicago marathon? Have you ever run it? If you have, how was it? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Happy Monday! – A recap of last week’s shenanigans

Hi guys and gals! It’s a new week. Let’s get excited, shall we? It’s another week to get stuff done and become a better version of you. 🙂 Let’s do this!

Last week was full of delicious food and good friends. Mendicino farms, an LA based sandwich restaurant, opened up in my area and I was able to snag a complimentary meal for me and 3 of my friends during their training session. Woohoo! Free food!

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At Mendicino Farms

I also went to a Yelp event at Hard Rock Cafe and had a blast eating and mingling with fellow yelpers.

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At Hard Rock Cafe for a Yelp event

I also had a holiday lab lunch at Piatti‘s with my colleagues. No picture with my colleagues, but I did snap a photo of my delicious meal.

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Linguini with mussels, clams, fish, calamari in a tomato basil sauce

On my running progress, I’m doing a lot better than previous weeks. I think my running mojo has returned. Hooray! I logged in 31.1 miles last week. That’s on par with my marathon training schedule so I’m a happy runner. 😀

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My mileage last week

It’s amazing what happens when I challenge myself. 🙂 If you remember from my last post, I’m doing quite a few of them to make sure I don’t slack off this holiday season. I’m halfway through my #RWRunStreak and 1 hour and 10 minutes away from completing the NorthPoleRunClub (NPRC) challenge. Running everyday has been extremely challenging (I guess that’s why they call it a challenge), but I’m doing it. 🙂 It also helps that I have extra challenges to complete so I have more of an incentive to do it. I checked 2 more items off the #RunChatHunt during my long run too.

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My runner sticker on a car entry

My running will decrease this week as I’m tapering for the San Diego Holiday Half. BOO. It’s for the best though. I need to rest up for the race. bjm4nyeimaajrdz

So there you have it, my recap of last week’s shenanigans.

How was your week? Did you do anything fun? Any races you’re looking forward to?