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. 😦 

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Cut back week

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.

Marathon training has kind of all been a blur to me the past few weeks. There are weeks where I feel phenomenal and there are weeks where I’m thinking to myself, holy crap why am I doing this to myself? Of course, the latter feeling goes away pretty quickly after I finish the training run and I find myself wanting to pursue an ultra. -_- C’est la vie. Hah.

The Aftershokz 26.2 experience training plan called for a cutback week this week. This is a week where you cut back on the mileage to allow your body to recover. I was more than happy to oblige. Here’s how the week went.

Week 4 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 5 miles – This run was bittersweet. The local running shoe store that I had run with for the past year and a half closed down its doors this past week and Monday was my last run with the store. It was kind of a last hurrah before the store closed and so a lot of people who had run with the store in the past few years came out. I even heard that some people left work early to make it to the run. The experience was quite touching. The store had a really strong meaning to me and I was happy that it meant a lot to others as well. 🙂

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A new running shoe store called Milestone running will be taking its place and it seems that a lot of the same people will still be there so I am looking forward to seeing what the staff at Milestone Running will bring. It’s kind of amusing though because I had actually purchased my first real running shoes at Milestone’s 1st location so it’s kind of come full circle. 🙂

Tuesday (Rest) 1 mile warm up with 3 sets/15 reps of squats with kettlebells, pull ups, and V sit ups – I guess that I can’t just lift weights without a warm up. LOL. My trainer made me jog a mile before some weight work. It was nothing too intense, but I was sore the next day.

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Wednesday (5 miles) 4 miles – On Tuesday, I spoke with some running friends who were asking me to do an ultra with them next year. They didn’t have a specific ultra in mind, but they just wanted to run it past me. I, of course, in the heat of the moment, said “I’m down.” LOL.

Now, most ultras are done on trail and I’m primarily a road runner. I mean, I can still count the number of times I’ve run on a trail with one hand. LOL. Fleet Feet San Diego must have read my mind or something because they had us run on trails this week.

Running trails is always an interesting experience. The terrain is a bit more uneven and there are a lot more ups and downs. On this particular trail, there was a portion where it was really rocky and I basically walked across the entire thing. Didn’t want to roll an ankle. I will probably keep trying to run more and more trails and maybe one day next year, I’ll be running an ultra or at least a trail race. 🙂

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Thursday (5 miles) 3.5ish to 4 miles – Treadmill dreadmill. I find it highly amusing how I’ve changed as a runner. I used to love running on treadmills. It was easier on my knees and I could watch Netflix when I did it. Now, I don’t like it as much. Running in one place for more than a mile makes me sad. LOL. Also, treadmill running isn’t terribly accurate. The treadmill said 3.5, while my Coros Pace watch said 4. The treadmill was probably right, but I had a weak moment and stopped because my watch said 4. LOL.

Friday (Rest) Rest – Hallelujah

Saturday (6 miles) 6 miles – Fleet Feet had their 2nd anniversary shindig with a 1, 2, 4, or 6 mile run. They had raffles, a snow cone maker, a waffle maker, breakfast burritos, and a lot of awesome vendors showcasing their cool new shoes. 🙂 I couldn’t resist a good party so I attended. I ran 6 miles, had a snow cone, an awesome waffle, and won a $50 gift card. Hooray!

Sunday (Rest) Rest – I try to do some active recovery on Sunday, but my feet just wasn’t having it so I rested.

This week was just okay in terms of training. My runs were somewhat difficult, but I’m trusting the process and this week will be better. In other news, I logged 93.7 miles for the month of August. 🙂

Question for you: How was your August? Do anything interesting? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running

Marathon Mondays – Week 1 of Training done!

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.

Holy moly is my body sore. I think I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew. LOL. Let’s recap how this past week of marathon training has gone, shall we?

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 5 miles: I was supposed to log 4 miles, but because I normally run a bit shorter on Wednesdays, I upped the mileage here to 5. It helped a lot that I was at a group run and the friend I ran with was so in shape. LOL. It pushed me to keep going when inside, I was mentally finished. I had gone swimming the day before and it was my first time swimming in years soooooo there was a lot of soreness happening.

Tuesday (Rest) Rest: Tuesdays are normally my day for intervals, but with this plan, Tuesdays are rest days. I did in fact rest, but I’m not sure I will in the later weeks. It was incredibly difficult from running every Tuesday to not running. I was intending on filling up the rest of my Tuesdays with some short weightlifting sessions so we’ll see how that goes.

Wednesday (5 miles) 4.5 miles: Another group run and managed to push myself to 4.5 miles. A lot of walk breaks were taken during this run once I was running by myself. LOL.

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Thursday (5 miles) 2 miles: I had an extremely busy day at work and with the weight lifting plan I needed to do, I could only squeeze in 2 miles before speeding off to have dinner with friends.

Friday (Rest day) 2 miles: I felt pretty guilty about being behind by 3 miles already during the first week so I made a quick trip to the gym during my lunch break to squeeze in some extra miles.

Saturday (6 miles) 7 miles: Being only a mile behind in my plan, I decided to add it to my long run. It was extremely warm when I started in the morning so I made it a treadmill run.

Sunday (Rest) 1 mile swim: I figured that since I had access to a pool this past weekend that I should take advantage of it so I went out and swam a mile. 🙂 It was low impact and apart from inhaling a little pool water, the swim felt great.

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Total mileage (20 miles) 20 miles + 1 mile swim

Thoughts: I probably should not have squeezed in those extra miles on my actual rest days as I was exhausted by Sunday, but I’m happy I hit my target mileage. This next week will be 23 miles so wish me luck. 🙂

Question for you: Are any of you training for a marathon? Which one? 

Posted in Running, Training

Countdown to the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own

It’s almost a year later and I find myself counting down to my 4th San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon. 🙂 4 years ago, this was my first half marathon. FOUR. I actually had to look back at my first medal to see what year it was. LOL.

Even as I type this, I am in just disbelief that it has already been 4 years since I embarked on this crazy running journey and 21 half marathons, 3 marathon, and 1 very hilly 21 mile race later, I am ready to run my 22nd half. LOL.

I remember the first time I went to the Health and Fitness Expo 4 years ago. I was in awe at how big the expo was. I had taken the day off from work and went with my brother to the expo and walked around and around. I played games that some vendors had, grabbed the free snacks, and got my very first medal rack and that very first medal rack led me to my Instagram and Twitter Handle: Once_upon_a_run. 🙂

Now that’s enough walking down memory lane. In 7 days, I will be running through the streets of Downtown San Diego once again. I will start out near the San Diego Zoo and head through the neighborhoods of Hillcrest and Normal Heights where there will be drag queens and the neighborhood bar at mile 4 where neighbors wake up early just to serve you shots of tequila and whiskey. LOL. I’ll run through North Park, where a lot of great food is at and then make my way towards the downhill finish in Downtown San Diego by the Waterfront. 🙂

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Training on the my old stomping grounds at UCSD

My game plan for this upcoming week will hopefully be a lot of rest and stretching. I haven’t race a half since January and I think I’m a little out of practice. Most of my training runs are at a much slower pace and I just checked my course PR on Athlinks and it was a 1:54:11. Crap. My muscles have been a lot tighter this year than they’ve ever been in the past so I’m trying to stretch as much as I can and foam roll after my runs. I can’t even touch my toes anymore! Ack. My hope is to at least stay ahead of the 2 hour sub half marathon crowd. Des Linden, the 2018 female Boston marathon winner and also a San Diego native, will actually be pacing the 2 hour half marathoners and I hope that I can stay ahead of that group, finish, and then wait around to see Des cross the finish line. She’ll also be at the expo on Friday and Saturday so I’m hoping to see her one of the days. Eek! So excited.

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Foam rolling

Wish me luck!

If you’re into doing things last minute and want to sign up online, you still can until Sunday night! You can use code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off either the half or full marathon. This code works on most Rock N Roll races (excluding Vegas) 🙂 

Question for you: What stretching tips do you have? Foam rolling? Post recovery tips are greatly appreciated! 🙂 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Oh the Hills – Big Sur 21 miler Race Report

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Big Sur 21 miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

And BAM, just like that, the Big Sur 21 miler has been conquered. 🙂 I had a wonderful experience running Big Sur and despite my legs hating me oh so much right now, I’m sure they’ll get over it and I can start running again soon. 🙂

Without further ado, my race report:

The Health and Fitness Expo: I flew into San Jose Saturday morning and rented a car to drive down into Monterey Bay. There was plenty of parking and as long as you could get out of the expo in one hour, there were no issues. 🙂 I made my usual rounds. There were plenty of photo opportunities.IMG_6112

I found my name on a HUGE Big Sur poster and took an awesome expo photo in front of this ginormous sign. IMG_6126

Thinking about it now, I should have known. Everything was so big. That should have tipped me off that the hills would have been the same. LOL. I stopped by the Motigo booth, where I talked to one of the Co-founders Dan. He was super cool and told me to open the app prior to the race to make sure all of my cheers were downloaded. I refreshed the app like a mad woman that day. Seeing more cheers being sent my way made me happy. 🙂

After grabbing my race swag and visiting the vendor booths, I quickly made it outside to sight see a bit. Then a massive headache came about and basically spoiled the rest of the night. Luckily, I passed out around 8 pm to get ready for my early wake-up call at 3:45 am.

Morning of: I was pretty worried the morning of the race. I had been experiencing stomach cramps for the past few days and was worried they’d make an appearance during the race. I was too scared to eat, but managed to gulp down some gatorade and had half a bagel with cream cheese right before the race. Everyone met at a pick-up location and was shuttled to the start line for our respective races. Since my race was 5 miles shorter than the marathoners, we started further along the course at mile 5.

RACE! The start of the race was actually a little anticlimatic. LOL. The reason being that the start line banner doesn’t actually indicate the start. The timing mats were located 0.2 miles up a hill and that’s where we officially started. So as we crossed the banner, most of us slowly stretched our legs up the hill. I even overheard a Pennsylvanian say that “Californians were really chill.” LOL. When we hit that timing mat, we were off. I started my Motigo app, my Garmin (because if there’s no data, did you really run it?), and was off. I started off pretty quickly. I think I was so excited to hear cheers for the app that I ran faster than I should have. Hah.

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The scenery was extremely pretty. I took a lot of videos and pictures and was just in awe from the hills and the greenery. 🙂 We were running along the coast and I got these gorgeous views of the waves crashing against the rocks of the cliffs.

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The course was marked for the marathoners and just the marathoners so we all laughed when we started running and already saw the 5 mile marker. 😛 Hooray! 5 miles done, 16 to go, right? The first few miles were a breeze.IMG_6152

I heard a few cheers and then later found out that the app had unfortunately crashed due to really really poor reception in the area. Seriously. Plan ahead to meet your loved ones at the finish line. There is barely any reception in the area and I’m pretty sure I ran 19 miles of it without any cell service. I ended up listening to my cheers at the finish line, which was still pretty awesome. 🙂

At my mile 5 (10 for the marathoners), we began our ascent (into madness, jk, only sort of kidding) up the massive hill. We ran up maybe 600 feet over the course of 2 miles? It was this intense trek up and honestly, I had no idea when it would end because the course kept winding and so I couldn’t see the top. You’d turn and then see another hill. Seriously, I can’t believe I complained about the La Jolla Half. That race was nothing compared to this one. Also, once you got higher up, the wind got stronger. LOLIMG_6165

At mile 7, we started heading down towards Bixby Bridge, where we got to see this awesome piano player! He was playing lullabies when I ran by. LOL. I took about a million photos of the area and continued the trek. Around mile 10, the first place male marathoner passed me by. LOL. They were fast. At mile 15, it started to sprinkle, which was actually kind of fun. I kept leap frogging with another runner for a few miles, but at the 2 last miles, she passed me. At mile 17, I started feeling pretty tired. I liked to think that running down hill was my strongest skill, but at mile 17, that was not the case. My knees started feeling the the impact from pounding on pavement up and down. My stomach felt very empty at mile 17 and I worried that I had not fueled enough and I’d hit the wall. Luckily, it didn’t happen. and I managed to make it to 20.5. Mentally, I was done. I started walking, but soon after, another runner touched my back as he passed by to encourage me to keep going so I did.

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I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:25:56 and a big smile on my face. 🙂 I had conquered the hills of Big Sur. And I placed 80th/1010 overall. You can bet I put my results into Athlinks. 😛

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Question for you: What was the hardest race you’ve ever run? Mine was probably Big Sur. 😛 Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again though. IMG_6172

Posted in Running

Less than 2 weeks away. Crap.

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Big Sur 21 miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I am less than 2 weeks away from embarking on my first 21 mile race at Big Sur and holy crap am I terrified. Yes, the view will be amazing. Ever since I saw pictures of the Bixby bridge, I’ve wanted to run along it and take a billion photos of the view. 🙂 So yes, the view will be amazing, but oh the hills. I guess that’s the only way you can get great views, right? From lots and lots of hills? Just by looking at the map below, it doesn’t look tooooo bad, but you know I won’t be saying that in two weeks when I’m running this bad boy. LOL.

Big Sur Elevation Profile

So that’s where you guys come in. I’ve signed up for Motigo, which is this really cool app, that sends cheers to a runner during their race. All you have to do is sign up, record a cheer, and pick a mile marker for me to hear your cheer. Isn’t that kind of cool? You don’t even have to be awake the morning of my race. LOL. Just pre-record the cheer and have it play at say mile 5 (mile 10 on the map, but it’s really 5 since I start 5 miles further away from the marathon start) when I start that hike up the hill. 😛 Or really at any point along the course. 21 milers is a very long distance. 😛

I’ve done some hill training, but not much. Last night, I ran Mt. Soledad, which is this pretty steep hill and it felt AWFUL. Getting to the top felt amazing, but the run up the hill was causing my legs to cramp and I had to stop multiple times along the route to stretch. I will admit that tears were shed. LOL. My training has gone fairly well if you disregard the lack of hill training. I know I can do the distance, but I’m still not too sure about the hills. I guess only time will tell. 🙂 Maybe I’ll just walk up those hills and take glorious pictures instead. 🙂

Sooooo any tips on how to get through hills? They will be much appreciated!

 

Posted in Running

#SKINSorNothing – Compression tights Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of SKINS DNAmic Compression 3/4 Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Info about SKINS compression wear:

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

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

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

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

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