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

Marathon Mondays – Week 9 of Chicago Marathon Training

It’s 9 weeks into the program and honestly if you’re still reading these recaps, I applaud you. LOL. I worry that these recaps can be kind of redundant especially if the workouts are all the same, but this recap, I have a treat for you at my expense. LOL. I completely broke down during Tuesday’s interval workout. Keep reading to find out why. 🙂

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (7 miles)7.5 miles

Two Mondays in a row where I didn’t feel sluggish. Hooray! My running group only runs from 3-6 miles so I headed over 20 minutes earlier and did 2 miles before the run started.

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Tuesday (4 x 1200 m with 1 mile WU and CD)3 x 1200 + 1 x 900 m with 1 mile WU and CD

And Tuesday is where I broke down. I had a really long day at work and got out a little later than expected. I was really stressed out, but I was still determined to get my interval done so I went out on the track and started. Most of the run went well, but on my last loop, my stomach just cramped up and I just hunched over and couldn’t run anymore. I started crying out of frustration and I just sat there for about 10 minutes trying to figure out if I should continue or not. I ended up not finishing the interval out of fear for my body and slowly jogged back to my office to grab my clothes and go home. Honestly, it was a really difficult moment for me. Running is something I know I can do. After a long day at work, it’s something I depend on to relieve tension so even a slight mishap like this one just broke me. I’m sure it also has to do with my impending defense Eek! Anyway, I finished the night with a pep talk to myself and decided that tomorrow was another day and it’d be fine. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)9.5 easy miles

Thursday was going to be full of traveling and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to run before my flight so I made the decision to switch my usual rest day with my “tempo run.” The run ended up being an easy run because my tempo run would actually be race day. The 9.5 miles were difficult. I could feel my body needing the rest, but I was determined to put in the miles so I took it really easy. It was supposed to be 10 miles, but I also wasn’t feeling that well so I cut it short.

Thursday (8 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest/Travel

Woohoo rest day! Made my way up to Vancouver.

Friday (5 easy miles)4.5 miles

Since Saturday was race day, I needed to do a shake out run. Hanson’s marathon method called for 5 miles so I upped and did an easy run. I was up in Vancouver with a friend and we ran part of the seawall together. It was a beautiful run and I honestly didn’t want it to end, but we got tired and decided to call it quits at 4.4 miles.

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Vancouver run time!

Saturday (8 miles)13.4 miles (tempo sort of)

Ran the SeaWheeze Half marathon, which I will recap sometime in the next two weeks. Trust me, it was amazing and you do not want to miss my recap.

Sunday (10 miles)3.7 miles

With all the sightseeing we had done in the previous two days, I could only manage a 3.7 mile recovery run instead of the 4.7 that I needed to finish the week’s scheduled mileage.

Total mileage (46 miles)45 miles

Considering that I was in another country for 3 of the days and had to move my running around quite a bit, I’m going to call this week a success. Hooray!

How do you rearrange your schedule when traveling? Do you run while on vacation?

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

It’s Heating Up – Wrapping up July

I feel like I’m writing this monthly recaps every other week! I guess time flies when you’re swamped with work. LOL. I did have a bit of fun too. Oh and running, there was a lot of running involved.

Graduate School – July will be my last full month as a graduate student. My defense is set for Wednesday, August 23rd and can I say that I’m STRESSED BEYOND BELIEF. I’m still busily writing my dissertation. It’s a bit frustrating to read pages and pages of findings only to summarize it in two or three sentences. Although I’m not making bounds of progress, I’m making progress and that’s all that matters. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m also in the midst of applying for jobs as well and well, you know how that goes.

Comic-Con – If you didn’t know, I consider myself a nerd. I grew up playing video games (Final Fantasy, Diablo II, Heroes of Might and Magic, Street Fighter, etc) and nowdays, you can find me playing board games (Bang, Machi Koro, King of Tokyo, etc). I used to watch a few animes and am now more interested in super heroes. So when registration for Comic-Con came out, you know I had to try and get a ticket. Luckily, I got one. 🙂

I even cosplayed for the event. Made my costume completely from scratch (minus the wig). I started out with a white shirt, dyed it with RIT-dye, cut it up, and made my mask (on my head) with paper mache.

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I’m Nelliel from Bleach!
I had a blast walking around the exhibition hall looking at all the cool artwork and seeing all the other cosplays. I didn’t see any famous people this time around, but I did meet up with LOTS of people (even one cool community manager from BibRave who came all the way from Australia!). Below are some of the cool things I saw.

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(Left to right, top to bottom) Lumpy Space Princess aka Erin from BibRave; Liana Hee artwork; Gogo, Hiro, and Honey Lemon; Vuduberi artwork; Aku Aku from Crash Bandicoot (LOVE THIS GAME), and a lot of Yummy World plushies

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(Left to right, top to bottom) Star Lord and Mantis, Deadpool, Pikachu, Big Boy, one of the professors from Pokemon (who actually gave out miniature pokemon!), and Aladdin

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(Left to right, top to bottom) Autumn Fredrickson artwork , Mega Construx Pokemon, a Gudetama plushie, Rick and the Butter robot from Rick and Morty, and Crabapple and Pork chomp plushies from Inki-drop
Running – I LOGGED 158 MILES THIS MONTH! Yes, you read that right. With marathon training, I almost doubled the mileage I was running in previous months and never did I think I was capable of logging that many miles in a month. I would see everyone’s monthly mileage and think, wow, they’re insane. And now, I’m one of the insane ones. I kind of like it. LOL. In other running news, I ran my 15th half marathon this month at the San Diego Craft Classic. Oh, I also registered a team for the SoCal Ragnar Relay so that’s happening next April. Oh man, what did I do? Have I gone insane? Probably, but I think it’s a good kind of insane. 🙂

How was your July? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running

Marathon Mondays – Week 7 of Chicago Marathon Training

And just like that, week 7 of Chicago marathon training is over. Only TEN more weeks to go. CRAP. Will I survive this? I’m already terribly exhausted. LOL. Maybe I should have chosen a less intense program. Sigh. Oh well, go big or go home, right?

Scheduled MileageActual Mileage

Monday (6 miles) 6 miles 

For the second Monday in a row, I felt SUPER sluggish and wanting to die (I exaggerate, of course) during my easy run. BUT for the second Monday in a row, my friends stayed by me and kept pushing me to the finish. Yay!

Tuesday (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and CD) (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and ~1.75 mile CD) 

Midway through my interval training, my stomach decided that it wanted to play games with me. This is when I found out that there were NO BATHROOMS available by the track I was running on. I ended up taking a break to find a bathroom and when I found one, my stomach decided that it was fine again. Sigh. I didn’t let that deter me though. I ran back to the track and finished the rest of my intervals.

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I’m so fast, I’m just a blur. LOL
Wednesday (Rest) Rest 

Of course I rested. Wednesdays are now a god send to me. LOL.

Thursday (5 mile tempo; 1 mile WU and CD)5 mile tempo; 1 mile WU and 1.2 mile CD

I was pretty nervous about this tempo run since I botched the last one. But luck was on my side this time. Aside from a tingling sensation at the bottom of my feet for the first three miles, the run went well and I nailed my pacing! Hooray! I ran in the evening this time to make sure heat wasn’t an issue and ended up running a bit faster than my goal pace (I was nervous about missing my pace again), but I’m calling this a win in my book.

Friday (5 miles)5.2 miles

I have never loved easy runs more. I made sure to make this run a relatively easy one because I knew the next day was going to be a long one.

Saturday (6 miles)12 long run miles

I ran my long run with Movin Shoes again because honestly, it’s just much easier to run with friends. I had originally planned on 11, but because we took a new route, I kind of got lost and ended up running a bit more than anticipated. It was still really fun since I got to explore new parts of my city.

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Sunday (10 miles)3.6 miles 

I intentionally run a little bit more than my scheduled mileage each day so my Sunday can be low in mileage. Ran my 3.6 miles and called it a week. 🙂

Total mileage (41 miles)41.2 miles


NAILED IT!

Thoughts for the week: I’m super happy I nailed my tempo run, but this upcoming week will be another uphill battle for me. I know I say that almost every week, but it’s true. This program truly puts me out of my running comfort zone and it may seem kind of pessimistic of me, but as each week passes, I’m just wondering when I’m going to call it quits. This week, I will be jumping from 41 miles to 47 miles. My tempo run increases to 8 miles + 1 mile WU and CD and my long run will be 15 miles. YIKES! If I make it through this week, I deserve some new running gear. LOL. Any suggestions on what I should get? 🙂

 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Week 6 of Chicago Marathon training

Well, this training method has been an interesting one. Here’s how week 6 went for me.

Scheduled mileageActual mileage

Monday (4 miles)4 miles

After my race the day before, I was in no shape to run anything more than what was expected of me. My quads were pretty sore, but I made it out to Movin’ Shoes for a group run and as soon as I started running, they felt better and 4 easy run miles flew by.

Tuesday (6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 1 mile WU and CD)6 x 800 m with 400 m recovery; 2.5 mile WU and 1.5 mile CD

This was my first real interval training. I was so unprepared for it that I brought my Hanson’s marathon method training book with me to work so I could look into the specifics of it before going into it. I think I did a pretty good job at it after looking at my pacing through the workout.

Interval 071817Although I did realize a few days later that my warm up (WU) and cool down (CD) were a bit longer than what was scheduled. Oops. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)Rest

I’ve been sleeping so much more ever since starting this program. I need my body to restore itself so if the program says rest, I’m going to rest.

Thursday (5 miles tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD)3 mile tempo run + 1 mile WU and CD

I missed the note at the bottom of my training plan where it said WUs and CDs were supposed to be a mile each. Since I did extra miles on Tuesday’s interval training, I decreased my tempo run mileage for the day. This was probably the worst run of the week. For tempo runs, I’m supposed to run around my marathon pace. Let’s just say I didn’t hit my marathon pace during any of the miles. 😦

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Friday (4 miles)4.3 miles

After Thursday’s terrible run, I took it easy and ran the 4 miles as a much more comfortable pace.

Saturday (6 miles)11 long run miles

I will probably be swapping Saturday and Sunday miles simply because my run group meets on Saturday and I lack motivation when there isn’t a group run. LOL. I ran with someone who’s around my pace and we managed 11 miles at a slightly faster pace. It wasn’t marathon pace, but I did feel very strong during this run. 🙂

Sunday (10 miles)4.7 miles

Because of extra mileage earlier in the week, I only had to run 4.7 easy miles to meet my weekly mileage.

Total mileage: (38 miles)38 milesIMG_1098

Thoughts for the week: Although, I’m super proud of myself for meeting such a high weekly mileage goal, I am worried I’m not performing as well as I’d like in terms of speed. Depending on how my next few tempo runs go, I may have to reassess my marathon goal of 4 hours. The Chicago marathon corral assignments came out this week and I’m already having serious doubts about whether I can actually reach a sub 4 time. I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when I do more tempo runs. 

How do you deal with doubt when training? Any tips for anyone who wants to get faster? 

Posted in Discount Codes, Running, Thoughts

Top 5 reasons to run America’s Finest City Half – Discount code included!

I just finished the San Diego Craft Classic and I already want to run another summer race. LOL. There are a few summer races left and I’m considering running America’s Finest City….again. I know. I know.  I didn’t have the best AFC experience a few years ago, but I feel like it’s time to redeem myself. I also came up with my top five reasons for others to run it.

  1. It’ll be their 40th anniversary so you know they’ll be pulling out all the stops for this special milestone. I don’t know about you, but I love anniversaries. I’m hoping for a really nice finisher’s medal. 🙂 They promised a custom “40th edition, dazzling finisher’s medal” so I’m pretty excited to see its reveal. It’s rumored to be a spinning disco ball medal. Yay!
  2. This race is the last of the three races that you must complete for the Triple Crown. For those unfamiliar with the Triple Crown challenge, it’s a series of three races (Carlsbad half or full, La Jolla Half, and AFC half) that must be completed within the same calendar year. Once you complete it, you get bragging rights, a ton of photo opps, and a BIG Triple Crown Medal. I completed the series in 2015 and it’s an accomplishment I like bringing up from time to time. LOL. Even if you didn’t do the other two races, doing the AFC this year will prepare you for next year. 🙂

    2015-08-18 20.02.43
    Carlsbad, La Jolla, America’s Finest City (AFC), and my Triple Crown medal from 2015
  3. The neighborhood support is great. San Diego races are awesome. People wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on friends and strangers alike. The volunteers and neighbors come out and bring their A game even in the summer. When I ran this race, I was having a tough time regulating my body temperature. It was hot and I wasn’t used to summer running. However, at mile 10, there was a volunteer group that grilled up mini sliders for all the runners. Can you believe that? They were grilling up food for us in the heat! If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.
  4. The course is a pretty scenic point-to-point course. I love these types of courses. It’s the best way to see a city. 🙂 You start off at the historic Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, run by the Embarcadero along the bay into downtown, and finish in Balboa Park. If you’re a tourist, this is the best way to end a race. Balboa Park always has something going on during the weekends. There are yoga classes, museums, street performers, and beautiful gardens.17309657_1627117090637954_1504000611218057106_n
  5. And this year, they’ve also included complimentary Ballast Point beer and Rubio’s chips, salsa, and guacamole in the finish line beer garden. Run for beer anyone?

If you’re interested in running a summer half marathon in San Diego (and I mean, who wouldn’t), you should definitely look into the AFC. You can also use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” to save $20 off the registration for the half marathon. Even if you’re not ready for the half marathon, AFC also has a 5k option if you want to try part of the route. The half marathon and 5k are at $115 and $45, respectively, through July 19th so sign up before the price increase!

If you’re worried about the heat, think of it this way. Once you cross that finish line, every other half marathon will be a piece of cake. 🙂 Seriously.

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?