Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 14 of Chicago Marathon training

OMG. 3 weeks left and counting. I’m doomed! LOL. Jk. Only sort of doomed. 🙂

Scheduled mileageActual mileage

Monday (7 miles)7 miles

Since I was still in Texas and it was still hot as hell, the next few days of running were strictly on the treadmill. It was unfortunate, but it wasn’t unbearable. I ran an easy 7 miles and called it a day.

Tuesday (3 x 2 miles with 800 m recovery and 1 mile WU and CD)4 x 1 mile with 800 m recovery after 3 x 1 mile and 1 mile WU and CD

Intervals should be easy on a treadmill, right? You can adjust the speed to what you need it to be. Too bad my body wasn’t having it. I couldn’t hold the speed for 2 miles at a time and had to do 1 mile intervals instead. Boo.

Wednesday (Rest)9 miles with increasing pace

I was traveling to Boston on Thursday so I moved my tempo run to Wednesday. Unfortunately, my muscles were still really tight so I just decided to start out really easy and increase the speed slowly as each mile passed. I never got to my tempo pace, but I wanted to listen to my body. With only 3 weeks left, I can’t afford an injury right now. I also got booted out of the gym early because my boyfriend wasn’t with me. All residents must accompany guests to the gym. Boooooo.

Thursday (10 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest

Again, HALLELUJAH! Honestly, I love rest days SOOOOO much especially when you spend half the day traveling.

Friday (6 miles)16 miles

Since I was in a completely new city (Boston) and my friend wasn’t available until noon, I decided to do a little sightseeing by way of running and boy did I sight see. In 16 miles, I was able to explore numerous neighborhoods and even got to run along the historical freedom trail.

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Sight seeing at its finest
This was probably the best decision of my Boston trip. 🙂 Although, the 16 miles were not all in one go. Ideally, it should have been one consistent run, but since I wanted to sight see, I made stops along the way. Hopefully that didn’t hurt my training too much. Bleh. I’d run and if I saw something interesting, I’d pop in to see what was there. I also went to convenience stores and bought water. LOL. Can’t have heat stroke in a new city. That’d be bad. 🙂

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Statue of Paul Revere along the freedom trail
Saturday (6 miles)6.2 miles

Someone on Friday mentioned that if my 16 mile route didn’t include running by the Boston marathon finish line, that I did it wrong. LOL. Sooooo I went back out and ran a route that specifically ran by it. It was awesome. 🙂

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The closest I’ll ever get to the finish line unless a miracle happens and I can run like lightning
Sunday (16 miles)4.2 miles

On Saturday, I flew back and what was supposed to be a 5.5 hour flight ended up being 10 hours. Since I was tired as hell, I just ran a easy 4 miler and called it a week.

Total mileage (57 miles)51.6 miles

Thoughts of the week: This was peak week for Hanson’s Marathon method. Thank goodness. I didn’t think I’d make it to this point. LOL. Although I missed the target mileage, I’m still pretty proud of myself traveling and still being able to continue my training plan with a few modifications. It’s also the most mileage I’ve ever run in a week so yay! On another note, remember when I resolved to run 1000 miles this year? Mission accomplished! Yup. I achieved it this week. I’m stoked. 🙂

Question for you: The next few weeks are critical for me. Hanson’s marathon method doesn’t actually really taper until the absolute last week and that worries me because I’ve been so fatigued lately. With my current mileage, how much should I decrease by? Hanson’s has me running 50 and 49 miles for the next two weeks, which is still really high considering I wasn’t able to hit 57 this week. I was thinking about shooting for 45 and 44 instead. What do you all think? What kind of taper works for you? 

 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 10 of Chicago Marathon Training

Well, well, well. I am now done with week 10 of marathon training and that means there’s only 7 weeks left! Holy crap. I’m less than 2 months away from running my second marathon. EEK!

Scheduled MileageActual Mileage

Monday (5 miles)5.1 miles

Who loves easy runs? This gal does! I was still feeling pretty sore from Saturday’s race so this run was at a very easy pace.

Tuesday (6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD) 6 x 1 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jog with 1 mile WU and CD

With Hanson’s marathon method, the second half of the training program has me doing strength intervals on Tuesday. They differ from the first half because they are much longer. I was talking to a friend the other day and after I told him I was doing a 6 x 1 mile sprints, he looked at me in disbelief like that wasn’t a thing. In reality, it’s not reallyyyyy a sprint. You’re supposed to run it 10 seconds faster than your marathon pace, which for me would be a 8:59 min/mile. I had no idea I was supposed to do this so my intervals were a little faster. Oops. The good news is that my stamina for running faster and longer is increasing. I can actually feel the difference now. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

It’s amazing what a difference one day will make. On Tuesday, I felt super strong. On Wednesday morning, I woke up with a sore throat. Thank god it was a rest day. My lower back also started to hurt so I tried resting as much as I could. I drank a TON of fluids too.

Thursday (Tempo run 8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8.1 easy run miles

Since I was racing again on Sunday AND still had a sore throat, I took it easy. I was debating the entire day whether to try and run the entire 10 miles or just do 5 miles. I ended running 8 miles. It really irritated me that I didn’t finish the other 2 miles, but over the next few days, I didn’t regret the decision to run less.

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My 8 mile run around the bay
Friday (5 miles) –  6.2 miles

I was super stubborn about the missed mileage on Thursday and even though I still had that sore throat, I ended up running an extra mile on Friday. It was risky and I would never advise anyone to do this.

Saturday (8 miles)7.8 miles

I woke up feeling really congested, but rolled out of bed and joined the Movin’ Shoes long run group. I knew if I didn’t go with them, I’d never get the mileage in. It was tough and I ran it a lot slower than I normally do. I ended up also doing a run/walk towards the end of the run. My race was the next day and I didn’t want to stress out my body too much before then. I know I was supposed to taper, but the half wasn’t my goal race – Chicago is and I want to really commit to Hanson’s program.

Sunday (16 miles)13.3 miles

I was supposed to do my first out of three 16 mile runs today, but based on how I felt, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I finished the half in pretty good shape (I’ll recap soon), but I again didn’t want to push it. A little part of me thought, maybe if I rested up after the race, I could do another 3 miles. After a 2 hour nap and not feeling significantly better, I threw in the towel for the week.

Total Mileage (54 miles)50.4 miles


Thoughts of the Week: I was a bit disappointed that I missed this week’s mileage by 3 miles, but considering the circumstances, I’m still pretty happy that I hit 50 miles this week. FIFTY. 5-0! I remember looking at this program 3 months ago and thinking – I’m definitely going to have to adjust these 50 mile weeks. There’s NO WAY I can do 50. Now look at me. I ran 50 miles WHILE SICK. Booyah self doubt!

Question for you: Have you ever been super stubborn about doing something when you knew it wasn’t the best thing for you? What did you do?

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

SeaWheeze Race Report

I should be focusing on preparing for my defense, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about my race experience at SeaWheeze in Vancouver. It could be all the endorphins running through me, but I have to say this was one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run and I’ve run quite a few in the past three years. Apologies in advance for the length of this post and all the LOLs in it. I had a fantastic time and I can’t contain my love for this race.

First off – Package Pick up at the Expo

SeaWheeze is a little different from most races in that you don’t actually wear a bib when you race. So what exactly did I pick up? Well, I picked up a Lululemon cinch bag (which had a water bottle and Nuun tablets in it), my D-tag, and my Sunset Festival bracelet. I also got to exchange my Lululemon shorts at pick up. Hooray! At package pick up, you get to walk around their Runners Shop and of course, buy their merchandise. I am proud to say that I didn’t buy anything. Don’t get me wrong. I do like their clothes, but since I’m graduating soon with no current employment plans, I decided against splurging for a pair of $58 shorts. The urge to spend was great though and Lululemon knows how to market themselves for sure.

The expo had a lot going on. There were a lot of great photo opportunities (I took advantage of all of them LOL), 15 minute yoga classes and a few vendors (Flow, Vega, Clearly, Saje) to check out. I stopped by most of them, found out my stomach didn’t agree with the Flow water, and then headed out.

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Hello photo opps!

Pre-race

I easily took the bus from my Air BnB to Canada place, which by the way is home to the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Winter Games. It’s a really cool piece of artwork and I wish they had lit it while we were there. Anyway, I met up with fellow BibRave Pros (Jeannine, Amanda, and Bradley) and then headed to the start.

Image uploaded from iOS
Left to right: Jeannine, Amanda, me, and Bradley behind the Olympic Cauldron

At this race, you self seed based on your expected finish time. Pacers, which they call Pace Beavers, were holding up their finish time so I made my way over to the 1:55 pacer and tried to stick with them as long as possible. I had never seen so many people in Lululemon wear in my life. LOL. As I waited to start, I saw this guy with two basketballs in his hands and a temporary “Doctor Dribble” tattoo on his back. Veterans of the race told me that he actually dribbles the entire course. I was impressed. At 7:05 am, the race started and I was on my way.

Race

I, without a doubt, started out WAY TOO FAST. I had a really rough start. I was debating about whether to keep with the 1:55 pacer or just run my own race and ended up with the pacer. That was mistake #1. The pacers were consistently a minute faster than where I needed to be and I struggled to keep up with them. Also, there are A LOT of things going on during this race. Around mile 3, we were on a bridge and there were people on stationary bikes cycling. I believe they were from a spin studio and it was really motivating to see them cheering us on. I tried my best to take pictures, but I also didn’t want to get in anyone’s way when I slowed down to take those pictures. The first time I took out my camera, I dropped my bus pass and a runner almost collided into me. That was mistake #2. I ended up taking a quick pic and was on my way.

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Things I saw along the route

Then my shoelaces got untied and I had to step to the side to tie them – mistake #3. THEN, I found out that the water they were giving out at the aid stations, was the Flow water they served at the expo. I took water from one station and within minutes of drinking it, I felt ill – mistake #4. Like I said, I had a rough start to the race. To make sure I didn’t have to stop by a porta-potty, I ended up bypassing all the water stations and holy moly, I was super thirsty by the end of the race. I was so thirsty at the end of the race that I ended up paying $3 CAD for water at the convention center. Who does that??? LOL. I ended up losing the pacer around mile 6 and at mile 8, “Doctor Dribble” passes me by with his two basketballs and I’m just in shock. What a talented man. LOL.

Despite all the mishaps, I had a fantastic time along the route. There were so many things to see. The things I saw?

  • Drag queens with pom poms
  • People on stilts in animal costumes
  • People dressed in mermaid costumes sitting on the rocks waving at us
  • Rows of people spinning on their stationary bikes
  • People on row machines
  • People on paddle boards ringing their cowbells on the bay
  • Hippies giving out high fives
  • Firefighters and policemen/women sprinkling people with water
  • “Yoga. Run. Party” shrubbery

Just to name a few. 🙂 The neighborhood support was awesome. Also, a huge part of the route is along the seawall and honestly, running along that route made me want to be a Canadian. LOL. The city is just so beautiful and I was so happy I got to explore this city by running through it. I even stopped off to the side to take a picture of the Lion’s Gate bridge. (I have NEVER stopped running during a race to take a photo. It was that picturesque). Honestly, pictures do not do this race justice. With about a mile to go, I ended up pushing myself to sprint. Normally, I can’t sprint for very long, but this time around, I felt strong enough to put everything I had into that last mile. Hooray! Marathon training is paying off. 🙂

Post-race

After crossing the finish line, I grabbed my shiny medal, a pair of Clearly sunglasses, my complimentary brunch, my Runner’s Reward from Saje (it contained a “Muscle Melt” lotion, a 6ml headache remedy, and 6ml analgesic remedy), found water, and waited for my friend to finish.

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Yay pretty medal!

As part of SeaWheeze, all runners also get to attend their Sunset Festival, which in short, is a huge yoga party with musical headliners. It didn’t start until 4:30 pm so my friend and I got lunch and went back to our place to nap before heading back out. I’m not really into yoga, but I thought I’d attend anyway to see what it was about. At the festival, there were more shops for people to buy Lululemon gear. They make SOOOOO much money out of this race. I ran into a woman that said she had used up her mother’s day present, birthday present, and Christmas present for that year. LOL. Wow. There was an hour long yoga class followed by Young the Giant and Cold War Kids. I ended up leaving mid yoga class so I can’t really comment on the rest of the night, but it was a nice event to unwind at.

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Honestly, the best part (for me) about the sunset festival was the fact that there were three people in t-rex costumes, two of which participated in yoga. LOL. Can you spot them in my pictures?

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Do you see what I see? LOL. 

If this was too long to read, here’s the short version. I had a blast at SeaWheeze and I already want to try and run it again next year. I recommend EVERYONE to run this race. They’ve already set the date too! It’ll be September 22, 2018. 🙂 The registration date hasn’t been released yet, but if I hear about it, I’ll let you know too.

So have you run SeaWheeze before? Or are there any amazing races I should know about? I already want to do another racecation. LOL. 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Hello AFC half. We meet again.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half 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. 

This year really is flying by. In only 5 short days, I will be running half marathon #17 at America’s Finest City half. This will be my second time running the race and I am definitely more prepared relative to when I first ran it two years ago. Yay for consistent running!

Anyway, I have three goals for this race.

  1. Don’t get injured – I just raced this past weekend and am still feeling the muscle fatigue from it. My muscles are sore and I’m having all sorts of aches and pains (rib pain – is that even a thing?, slight muscle calf discomfort, and some stomach pain) when I’m running. Yikes! I’m also still in the midst of training for the Chicago marathon so getting injured is something I absolutely need to avoid. I need to be in tip top shape for the marathon if I’m ever going to break 4 hours. That means taking it easy during this race.
    IMG_3924
    AFC 2015 
  2. Beat my course PR – The first time I ran this race, I struggled A LOT. It was very humid and I wasn’t used to it. I was training in an air conditioned gym on a treadmill. LOL. This year, I’ve made sure to train in the same weather I’d be running races in. I don’t plan on beating my overall PR, because honestly I’m pretty sure I’d injure myself if I tried. I do want to try and beat my course PR though. This race holds the record for my slowest half marathon time so I do want to try and redeem myself. 🙂 BUT, if there are any signs of injury, goal #2 will be thrown out the window and and goal #1 will take priority.
  3. Enjoy the scenery and have fun – After running SeaWheeze in Vancouver, I think I have a more new found appreciation for scenic races. After living in San Diego almost my entire life, I think I’ve taken a lot of it for granted. San Diego is a really pretty city so I need to start appreciating that and what better way than by running through it.

Wish me luck!

If you want to run this race with me, you can use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” until Wednesday, 8/16/17 to get $20 off your entry online. You can also still register at the expo, but the code will not work then.

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts

Marathon Mondays – Week 8 of Chicago Marathon Training

Wheeee and now I’m done with week 8 of Chicago marathon training. 9 weeks and counting until I run my second full marathon. YIKES!

(Scheduled)Actual mileage

Monday (5 miles)5 miles

This Monday was probably the first Monday in a while where I didn’t feel super sluggish. Hooray! Ran 5 miles with a group and called it a day.

Tuesday (5 x 1000 m with a 1 mile WU and CD)5 x 1000 m with a 1 mile WU and CD

About halfway through my intervals, I wanted to quit. LOL. A few weeks ago, someone told me that if you want to quit halfway through your intervals, you’re doing it right. Ever since then, it’s kind of stuck with me and I’ve embraced the suck. If I want to get faster, this is what I have to do.

Wednesday (Rest) Rest

Hallelujah. 🙂

Thursday (Tempo run 8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD)8 miles with 1 mile WU and CD

Thursday was busy, busy, busy, not to mention HUMID AS HELL. I had a lab meeting followed by a phone interview. (Look at me trying to make it out in the real world. LOL) Then it was just too hot and humid to run so I waited the heat out and the longer I waited, the less I wanted to run. This was my first 8 mile tempo run and I wasn’t sure I could do it. Doubt should be my middle name because during this whole training cycle, I’ve been doubting myself. Long story short, I NAILED MY TEMPO RUN. The splits were so close that I wanted to cry. LOL. Weather really does make a difference and I swear, I will never try to do a tempo run in hot weather (unless there was no other option) ever again.

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Hellooo tempo run!

Friday (6 miles) 5 miles

I had a few last minute plans come up so I had to run in the heat to make those plans. It was not pretty.

Saturday (5 miles)15.1 miles (I always swap Sat and Sun mileage b/c I just cannot run 13+ miles by myself)

My running partner’s legs weren’t feeling too great so she ended up only running 3 miles with me before she turned around. That left me to my own devices to try and entertain myself for the other 13. LOL. To make running more fun, I’ve been trying to enjoy the surroundings a bit more, which I think has actually made me a happier person overall. Hooray!

Anyway, to cover 15 miles, I had to be a bit creative. Movin’ Shoes sent us out on an out and back path that covered maybe 12 miles. Once I got to the point where I had to turn around, I started looping streets like a crazy person to make up the necessary mileage. I ran by a bunch of stores that I hadn’t seen before and I felt like a tourist. I even ended up passing by this really cool “Blah blah blah” sign while I was there.

 

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Sometimes you just gotta get away from all the Blah, blah, blah and just run. 🙂 

During the last two miles, it got hot and I definitely struggled, but I finished and that’s still a win in my book. 🙂

Sunday (15 miles)5.1 miles

My Saturday run wiped me out. I passed out around 10 pm and woke up 11 hours later not wanting to run. LOL. I ran anyway and it ended up being a nice run. I stopped at almost every mile to cool down, but it is what it is. 🙂

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Came across this “Turtle X-ing” sign; I can relate LOL

Weekly mileage (47 miles)47.1 miles


Thoughts of the Week: Don’t let doubt and fear stop you from what you want to accomplish. If you want it, you should go for it and oftentimes, you’ll surprise yourself at how far you can go. 🙂

This upcoming week will be difficult. I have to do some maneuvering of my schedule because I’ll be racing Seawheeze on Saturday and will be traveling Thursday and Sunday.

Question for my fellow runners: How is your training going? Any races coming up? Have any of you raced Seawheeze or even been to Vancouver? Suggestions welcome!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 5 Chicago Marathon training

I am officially done with week 5 of marathon training and boy am I pooped. POOPED I say. This was a crazy week as Hanson’s marathon method had me scheduled to run 39 miles! THIRTY NINE miles. The week before, I was only scheduled to run 24 miles. Why 39 miles? Oh lord. Anyway, here’s how last week went.

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 9 miles 

My boyfriend was visiting for a week and I knew that I would not have enough time to do my scheduled interval training on Tuesday, which was estimated to be about 6 miles plus a 1.5 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cool down. Also, since I had a race on Sunday, the plan said to forgo interval training for that week. Because of all that, I woke up Monday morning thinking I’d just run 9 miles just like that. LOL. Thinking about it now, I still can’t believe I just decided to run 9 miles like it wasn’t a big deal or anything.  I think I’m running obsessed. Anyway, I broke up the distance up into two runs making the mileage a lot more manageable. I ran 3 miles earlier in the afternoon and after work, I met up with my run group and we ran another 6 miles. Thankfully, a friend who runs at a similar pace was there and she ran with me the entire way. Yay friends!

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After my 6 mile run with Movin’ Shoes

Tuesday (Speed training 12 x 400 m with 400 m recovery jog) – 4 miles 

Despite being exhausted from Monday’s run, I kept waking up in the middle of the night, which made Tuesday’s run tough. I had to pick up my boyfriend from the airport that morning so I squeezed in my run before his arrival. I was a bit late waking up so I ran 4 miles in the hot sun. Luckily, there was a lot of shade and breeze along the bay I ran around and it wasn’t too bad.

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

You bet I rested. Working out/running for 8 days without a break is killer. I wouldn’t recommend it. Do as I say, not as I do. I’m clearly (running) crazy.

Thursday (5 miles)5 miles

Thank goodness for scheduled group runs. It was the second Thursday of the month meaning it was Adventure Run day. I unfortunately ate something bad right before the run and ended up running with a crazy upset stomach. I struggled through those 5 miles, but I finished.

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Thank you to my friend Alex who ran with me and kept me company while I struggled with tummy issues

Friday (4 miles)4 miles

My car was having some issues so I had to get it to the repair shop stat. It took 45 min to get my car fixed so I decided to just go for a 4 mile jaunt around the block. LOL. You gotta do what you gotta do to get those miles in. 🙂

Saturday (8 miles) –  3 miles

Because I was running a half marathon on Sunday, I made this day a 3 mile run. I was supposed to log 16 miles over the weekend anyway so I just split the distances over the two days.

Sunday (8 miles)13.1 miles

Having run so many miles earlier in the week, I was a bit worried about running a half marathon and about having to run it at a faster pace than usual. Luckily, I survived the race and finished off the week with 13.1 miles. Woohoo! A re-cap of the race will be coming shortly. Stay tuned!

Total Mileage (39 miles)38.5 miles

Thought of the week: I will have to say that despite missing my target mileage by a half mile, I’m still extremely proud of myself. Prior to this, I had never run anything more than 32 miles a week and that was peak week for my NYC marathon training. It may not seem like much to a high volume runner, but it was all I could manage last year. I feel that this year, I’m much more prepared as a runner. 🙂

How is everyone’s training going? Did you race this past weekend? 

 

Posted in Running

Five races down, Six+ races to go 

Happy Friday everyone! This will be a short post, I promise. The year is almost half over and I have run five races – two 5ks, a 10 miler, and two half marathons. That leaves me with at least six more races to go. I say “at least” because I haven’t completely banned myself from signing up for more races even though I really should.

I started off 2017 with six planned races. I kind of got carried away along the way (FOMO is real guys and gals) and signed up for more. LOL Oops? Sorry, not sorry. I’m having a blast racing about my city and later this year, I’ll be racing in 4 additional cities. 🙂 Hooray! Updated 2017 Race ScheduleAnyway, the running bug is back. Maybe I’m overwhelmed with work and this is how I cope – by literally running away from all my problems. LOL. I kid. I am thinking about about signing up for a trail half marathon though. I’ve never run a trail race before and I think it might be fun. Also, I really want to try a Ragnar Relay one year. Running day and night while also hanging out with your sweaty running buddies in a van? Count me in. LOL. I was invited to two different relays this year, but because of timing it just didn’t work out. Hopefully I’ll be able to do one soon. They look like so much fun. 

Have you done a trail race before? A Ragnar Relay? Did you enjoy it? Any advice for a potential first timer? Also, what other fun running activities are there out there? I’m all ears. 🙂