Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Training

Running on Tired Legs – The Secret to a Course PR at the RNR Vegas Half

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the RockNRoll Vegas Half 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.

I don’t want to bore you with another Marathon Monday training post so today, I will be forgoing it and just share with you all my Rock N Roll Vegas half experience.

Just know that I have been struggling with keeping up with the mileage as it’s been increasing. My legs have been a bit fatigued with 10+ mile long runs, but I know this fatigue is pretty normal and it’ll better prepare me for the full in a few short weeks. The target this past week was 20 miles during the week with a 20 mile long run totaling 40 miles. I was able to get in 16 miles during the week and a 19.3 mile long run totaling 35.3 miles. I was short 4.7 miles, but considering that *SPOILER ALERT* I beat my course PR on the Rock N Roll Vegas Half, I’ll still call it a win.

And with that, my race report of the Rock N Roll Vegas Half.

Health and Fitness Expo – Rock N Roll expos are large. If you’ve never been to one, be prepared. There a TON of vendors so choose wisely when deciding what to purchase or else you’ll rock around having dropped $100+. Bib pick up was extremely easy. I took a Lyft from the airport and was at the Convention Center in 15 minutes and then picked up my bib with no wait time.

I had a lot of fun talking to vendor reps that I had met at other running events. I’d like to give a shout out to the reps at the Oofos, HoneyStinger, and ProCompression booths for keeping me company as I waited 4 hours for my friend to arrive so I could check into my hotel. LOL.

Race Day (Pre-race) – Preparing for a night race is always tricky. Things to take into consideration:

Meals: Last year, I made the mistake of eating too early (10 am) and by the time I finished the race, I was starving and was grabbing anything the volunteers would give me to stuff my face with. This year, I tried to eat lunch a little later (12:30 pm) and hoped that whatever I ate would digest quick enough and not give me GI distress during the course (like during my Chicago marathon. Sigh). Fortunately, it worked, but I might have also upchucked a LITTLE bit of food during the course so I guess I will need to refine this a bit more. LOL.

Time on your feet: Time on your feet should be minimized for a night race. Knowing that, I still went out and ran 6 miles in the morning because I had a scheduled 20 mile long run for marathon training. LOL. In my defense, I did run much slower and tried to take it as easy as I could. After the run, I went back to the hotel and rested until it was time to get lunch and get to the start line. Even at the start line, I sat down and tried to rest and since I beat my course PR, I’d say it paid off.

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If you must go for a run on the Vegas strip, go at 7:30 am. Very few people are out.

Hydration: Holy moly is Vegas dry. I come from a fairly humid city so being in Vegas completely shriveled me up no matter how much water I drank (and I only drank water; no alcohol was involved). If you are going to run in the desert, drink up. It may be cool, but your body will thank you.

Gear Check: It’s a night race. It’s going to be COLD when you finish. You won’t feel it when you cross the finish line, but give it 10-15 minutes. You will feel it. So packing a jacket is a must.

Race Day (Actual race) – All day, I had been debating whether to race it or treat it like a training run. Since I ran 6 miles in the morning, I was worried that I’d hit a wall at mile 7. So I told myself to take it easy and run by feel. And crazily enough, I actually felt fine. I hadn’t raced a half since June so I was stoked be around other runners and was ready to cross that start line.

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At the start line

As soon as they sent off my corral, I took off. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor ups and downs and you hardly notice them as the Vegas strip lights are pretty mesmerizing. I had seen them the night before, but running through the strip was another type of experience and you can bet I took it all in. The air was also cool and refreshing as I started to heat up. I hit my groove at mile 4 and at mile 5, I saw some BibRave peeps, which fueled me for another few miles.

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Before heading into our corrals

The bands and DJs that were set up along the course also really helped my energy levels. I would hear a Bruno Mars song and I’d just start dancing, which gave me more energy to run faster. LOL I also really like Bruno Mars. LOL. At mile 12, I was losing momentum. The dry winds combined with the sweat stung my face and I was struggling. Then, I ran into fellow blogger, Jim, and with some encouraging words, we pushed each other towards the finish line. (Hi Jim!!!).

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Immediately after crossing the finish – holy smokes, we’re sweaty

Honestly, I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I finished strong despite having run a total of 19.3 miles that day AND I beat my course PR. So maybe the secret is constantly running on tired legs?!?!

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My Shiny New Medal

Official time was 1:54:45 and now I’m just waiting impatiently to claim my results on Athlinks. LOL

Honolulu baby, I’m coming for you!

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Catching up with BibRave Founders: Tim and Jessica!

Question for you: Have you ever felt like a million bucks crossing a finish line? If so, which race was it at and why?

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Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Another 18 miler is in the books!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Week 13 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned) Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 6.03 miles

Tuesday (Rest) 5.02 miles

Wednesday (10 miles) 5.3 miles

Thursday (5 miles) Rest

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

Weekly mileage: 37/34.2

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

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – The Trials and Tribulations of Marathon Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Week 12 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles

Tuesday (Rest) Rest

Wednesday (8 miles) 5 miles

Thursday (6 miles) 1.58 miles Trail

Friday (Rest) 3 miles

Saturday (12 miles) 12 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

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

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – The Influence of Other Runners

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

If you’re interested in signing up for the Honolulu Marathon, use code “HNLBR2018” for 10% off the registration.

Runner friends are just the worst.

And when I say that, I actually mean the exact opposite. LOL. Let me explain. I went into week 11 of Honolulu Marathon training with a bit of hesitation. I had an 18 mile long run scheduled at the end of the week and it was my first 18+ miler since FOREVER (ie January 2018, when I did the Walt Disney World Marathon). I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but as the days went by, my confidence grew. Or maybe it was my friends’ confidence in me grew. I’m not really sure which. LOL.

On Monday, I did my usual 6 miles with my run group. Coming off of a 15 miler on Sunday, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t have it in me to pull off the 6 miles, but for some reason, I felt okay to run. The first 3 miles were great, but the last 3 miles weren’t. LOL. I had started a little too fast chasing the sunset that I had drained my legs the first 3 and had to run slower the last 3. It has been helping that it’s a been a lot cooler in the evening and since it’s darker, I’m a bit more scared and will try to speed up my workouts.

I had no intention of running on Tuesday, but at the end of my Monday run, a friend was pestering me to go so I did. Again, I wasn’t sure if I could run faster over the course of 6 x 6 min intervals (Do you see my pattern of self-doubt? -_-), but in the end, I did and I felt fantastic. Who knew?

On Wednesday, I put in 5 miles with my usual run group. It got dark really fast and everyone sped up as to not lose one another. LOL. If I couldn’t see the light from the runner in front of me, I had to run faster and the person behind me did the same. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise. 😛 I DID run faster as a result.

On Thursday, I decided to run a mile. At work, I put together a to do list for my colleagues to participate in for the month of October. We’re pretty sedentary at work so I chose to include a Run/Walk streak for a week as one of the activities. Despite being tired as hell, I got that mile in. I also did some core workouts with TRX since my lower body was really fatigued from running.

On Friday, I managed the mile and did some more core workouts with a yoga ball. It hurt. LOL.

On Saturday, my friend from out of town, Nicole ran with me. She had a 22 miler and so our long runs would match up for the most part. Thank goodness I ran with her because it made the time pass by so much more quickly and I enjoyed the 18 mile run so much more. A huge thank you to her for making that the most enjoyable long run I’ve had in a longggg time. Who knew that I could hold conversation pace for 3.5 hours and learn so many new things about her? LOL. If you have a long run scheduled, try to run with a friend. It’s just so much better and who knows what stories you’ll get from one another when you do. 😛

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I was scheduled to rest on Sunday, but my boyfriend hadn’t gotten around to his long run so I offered to bike with him as he ran. I was able to log 10 miles on a bike and boy was it fun. So much easier than running. LOL. I’m still too scared to ride a bike more consistently though. The fear of getting hit by a car is too great. 😦

TLDR? Below is a recap of my training. I was short 0.5 miles of my goal (37 miles), but I’ll still take it as a success. This week will be a cutback week so I’m so stoked to rest and recover from last week’s mileage. 🙂

Question for you: How was your week? 

Week 11 of Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned) Actual mileage

Monday – (4 miles) 6 miles

Tuesday – (Rest) 5.5 miles (1 mile warm up with 6 x 6 min intervals, 1 min rest)

Wednesday (9 miles) 5 miles

Thursday (6 miles)  1 mile with core workouts on TRX

Friday (Rest) 1 mile with core workouts on yoga ball

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday  (Rest) 10 mile bike ride

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Whatever it takes

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

(Planned miles) Actual miles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – 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. 😦 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – A Balancing Act

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.

Boom. I’ve just finished week 5 of Honolulu marathon training and I’m uhh kind of hitting a bump in the road. Since I started cross training, I haven’t really been able to do any runs 3+ miles without having to take a walk break. I’m not sure if it’s in my head, but I think I might be putting too much stress on my body or I’m not sleeping enough. Sigh.

Week 5 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 4 miles – Happy Labor Day! Started the day with a gnarly hill run. The elevation increase was kind of quick from the start, which was probably not the smartest choice and my calves were just not dealing with them well. I had to walk quite a bit to stretch them out.

Tuesday (Rest) 4 rounds of 1 min burpees/box jumps, 1 min ball slams, 1 min V sit ups, 1 min rest – Burpees just kill me every time. Every single time. The day after this work out, my entire body was sore. LOL

Wednesday (6 miles) 6.5 miles – Broke this run into 2. Ran 2 on the treadmill and 4.5 outside. 🙂

Thursday (5 miles) 3.2 miles – The Craft Classic San Diego race has been having social runs at a brewery once a month to promote their race on October 21st. A friend was organizing the event and I couldn’t pass up a raffle that they were having with the run so I went. I ended up winning a gift card so it was a good day. 🙂 Heh.

Friday (Rest) Very quick stretching – I had recently bought a yoga mat and spent about 10 minutes trying to stretch before my long run on Saturday.

Saturday (10 miles) 11 mile long run with 1650 meter swim – Oh god. I went insane on Saturday. I had logged 14 miles over the week and was a mile short going into the weekend so I tacked on the extra mile in this run. Apparently, the stretching the night before did very little to help my running because for the first 4 miles, my legs were very tight and only 5 miles in did I finally hit my stride. 😦 I did feel very strong the rest of the way though. And of course, since I’m a glutton for punishment, I decided that running 11 miles wasn’t enough and added on about a 1 mile of swimming just for kicks. LOL.

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Sunday (Rest) Yoga – After having so much tightness in my calves, I decided to attend another yoga class. Even though I knew it was good for me, I still dreaded doing it. Even 30 minutes into class, I kept looking at my watch hoping the time would pass by faster. LOL. But the funny thing is that 55 minutes into yoga when the instructor told everyone to sit and touch their toes, I still couldn’t, but I could tell that I was making progress. The stretch in my hamstrings felt really soothing and for that brief 2 minutes, I felt happy at yoga. LOL.

Thoughts of the week: This week wasn’t super great for running, but I did hit the mileage. 25/25 miles! Weight lifting was tough, but swimming and yoga felt easier, which is a relief.

Oh and I’m a bit worried that weight training is hurting my running. Does anyone have experience with weight training and running? What should I do? Any suggestions?