Posted in Running, Thoughts

Ahhhh! It’s Taper Time for the La Jolla Half.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the La Jolla 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. 

Yes, that time has come again. Tapering. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I personally LOVE it. A week where you can decrease your mileage in preparation for a race. Woohoo! My tapering strategy has changed over the years and I just wanted to say that I am in no way telling anyone how to taper. I’m still figuring it out and it’s a lot of trial and error.

When I first started out, I was doing cardio kickboxing three to four times a week with short 3 mile runs in between. My kickboxing trainer told me to start resting on Wednesdays for a Sunday half. That sounded good to me. Less running? Hell yeah. LOL. Nowadays, my taper week goes a little something like this. I run the bulk of my miles on Monday and Tuesday. This usually ranges from three to six miles depending on how I feel. On Wednesday and Thursday, I try for shorter mile runs and on Friday, I rest. On Saturday, I do a three mile run to shake out my legs and on Sunday, I’m ready to go. I usually average 21 miles a week. The week leading up to a half, I average maybe 8 to 9 miles. *Edit* I know the total taper week plus the race equals 21 or 22 miles. LOL. Maybe it’s not a taper week at all? I’m still new at this! Only three years running. I’ll figure it out soon enough. 🙂 

Now my training for the La Jolla Half hasn’t been too bad. With all the races I’ve signed up for this year, I don’t really have a structured training plan for halfs. (The only structured training plans I’ll have for this year is for the Chicago marathon and for the Dopey Challenge too.) As mentioned earlier, I try to average 21 miles a week and some weeks, I go over and some weeks, I miss my target mileage by a lot. The last week of March and the first week of April wasn’t too kind to me mileage wise. I blame a lack of motivation, injury, and life. LOL.

All of that changed last week. Can you guess why?

A strava challenge started. Haha. I’m definitely the competitor type and the Runner’s World Boston Challenge was just what I needed to kick my butt back into gear. From April 8 to 17, I had to run 26.2 miles. Here was my initial thought process:

Run 26.2 miles in 9 days? Sure. Why not? Totally doable.

*2 days later*

Hmm. When did that challenge start again?

*Looks at challenge*

Oh crap. It started 4 days ago. I’ve skipped two days of running already. Hmm, should I still try for it? You at least ran 3.1 miles on Sunday. That’s still something. You got 23.1 miles to go and 6 days to do it. That’s 4 miles a day. That’s doable…I think. 

It is now April 18 and I’m proud to tell you that I finished that challenge two days ago! Woohoo! IMG_8848

Although I haven’t done any long runs in a month, I’m hopeful that my mileage the past few weeks will get me through the La Jolla Half Marathon this weekend. 🙂 Wish me luck!

If you still haven’t registered for the La Jolla Half marathon and would like to run it Sunday, April 23, use the code “BIBRAVE20” for $20 off their registration fee! 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Luvo Comes To Save The Day

Disclaimer: I received some Luvo frozen meals 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!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to try a variety of Luvo frozen meals and honestly, they couldn’t have come at a better time. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been sick with what I can only describe as an inconvenience to breathing. Having to spit out phlegm every hour or so has not been fun, but it’s okay, I’m getting better. With the Luvo meals, I was able to easily pop one into the microwave and within minutes, I had a healthy meal that was piping hot, smelled delicious, and tasted great.

Here’s an excerpt from Luvo’s website:

“Where your food comes from makes a big difference—not just to your body, but to the world as well. So we’re making every effort to support farmers and suppliers by sourcing responsibly. We use antibiotic-free meat and poultry, and non-GMO, organic ingredients whenever possible. Of course it’s a work in progress, but we’re constantly working to bring you the highest quality, most delicious, nutrient-dense food at the best price. Learn more about our practices in our FAQ.”

Without further ado, my review of the Luvo frozen meals I got to try out in order from least favorite to OMG, PLEASE GIVE ME MORE. 🙂

5. Chicken Enchiladas – This meal also comes with black beans and brown jasmine rice. On the front of each of the packages, it will usually indicate how flavorful it is. I’ve found that what they say pretty much rings true. The chicken enchiladas were marked as “on the mild side,” and this was right on. I love spice and personally do not prefer mild tasting food. However, as someone who had a really sore throat two weeks ago, this was actually pretty good for me. The chicken was moist and the flavor didn’t worsen my throat. Woo!

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4. Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This comes in a fire roasted tomato sauce, which I really appreciated. I found the ravioli to be a bit on the blander side, but the sauce totally made up for it. It was really flavorful and I am a little ashamed to admit this, but I licked the plate clean. IMG_8099

3. Turkey Meatloaf – This comes with mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and cranberries. Do the ingredients sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you clearly don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. This meal is practically Thanksgiving in a box. The mash potatoes tasted fresh and the gravy was so rich in flavor that I forgot for a second that these meals were actually healthy. The meatloaf was moist and not dried out at all even after 7 minutes in the microwave. IMG_8184

2. Turkey Vegetable Lasagna – The lasagna consists of whole wheat noodles, kale, and spinach. This was my very first Luvo meal and I was over the moon with this dish. I kept telling my boyfriend that he had to try it and after some skepticism, I got him to try it and he liked it too. I’m not even a huge fan of kale, but this lasagna mix was delicious – extremely savory. IMG_8077

1. Orange Mango Chicken – This one was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. It comes with whole grains, broccoli and kale and is smothered in a delicious orange mango sauce. Think regular orange chicken but healthier because it’s not deep fried. I really didn’t think I could like orange chicken that wasn’t deep fried, but I was wrong. The chicken soaked the sauces in. The whole grains and veggies were a bit on the blander side, but just dip those into the sauce and you’re good to go. IMG_8243

Too long? Didn’t read? In that case, here’s a pros and cons list for you. 🙂

Pros 

Healthy – Their meals consist of antibiotic-free meat and poultry, and non-GMO, organic ingredients whenever possible. Their meals have a full serving of fruits and veggies. This is HUGE for me since I’m a terrible eater. In N Out anyone? 🙂

Smells – The meals, once cooked, SMELL INCREDIBLE. Seriously, my colleagues always wondered what I was eating because it would always smell really good.

Taste – I’m a person that loves to eat. I mean, I live to eat. That means that taste is really important to me. Out of the 5 that I tried, I really liked 3 of them. Even with the other two, I could have added a little more salt or spice to it and it would been just great to eat.

Environment friendly – Their packaging comes from recycled paper! Woo. Every step towards being more environmentally friendly helps, right?

Cons

Portion size – This one is not actually a con for me, but may be a con for others. I have a tendency to overeat so I love just taking one of these to work with me and eating just that and nothing else. Their portions are perfect for me, but may not be for you.

Variety – Luvo actually has quite a bit of variety (boxed meals, burritos, bowls, vegetarian, non-vegetarian), but since they are still starting out, it’s sometimes difficult to find the meal you want. A lot of the stores around my neighborhood would only carry three different meals so I went around to different stores hoping to find some new ones to try.

If you’re interested in trying any of Luvo’s meals, they have this little search engine that tells you where to find specific meals. They also have some promotions on their site if you want to save a few dollars. 🙂  I would definitely recommend the Orange Mango Chicken, Turkey Lasagna, and the Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese. Stores in my neighborhood didn’t carry the Mac and Cheese meal, but fellow BibRave Pros raved about it.

And finally, here’s what fellow Bib Rave Pros thought about Luvo:  JeannineLindseyAngie, and Jeremy

Posted in Running

Two weeks until my first 5k of the year!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock N Roll’s Carlsbad5000 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. 

Yes, you heard that right. In exactly two weeks, I will be running my first 5k of the year at Carlsbad5000. Hooray! This will be my second time running it and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

The Basics

Date: April 2nd, 2017

Organizers: Run by the Rock N Roll series

Race Distances: 5k or 20k (all day)

Headliner: BetaMaxx

Interesting fact: Carlsbad5000 is the world’s fastest 5k (I’m assuming because the course is fairly flat and a lot of people have broken world records on it).

This will be my second time running the 5k and I’m hoping that I will be able to PR at this race. At least, I’m going to try. 🙂 If you are one of the first 250 finishers, I believe you are awarded a medal and this year, the medals are REALLY pretty. 17203523_10104726732916174_2093542708_n

After seeing the medals, I was extremely tempted to just switch to the 20k, but I decided to stay with the 5k for this year. I mean, a sandcastle medal would be awesome, wouldn’t it? If only I could run all the races. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular 20k distance, it’s unique in that the 20k is broken up into four races. It’s an all day event and you have four start lines and four finish lines! You participate in four 5k races totaling 20k. For more information on it, click here. I think it’s really cool to do especially if you have friends in different brackets. You could in theory run with all of them.

If you’re interested in running this race, use the discount code: BIBRAVE15 to get $15 off your entry to either the 5k or the 20k. The 5k is currently $45.99 and with the code, it’d only be $31.99 + some fees. That’s not bad for a 5k that gives out a medal. This code is valid until 3/26/2017. 

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

A Year of Running in Review – 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago Marathon here I come!

Hello lovelies!

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

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

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Cheers!

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

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

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

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

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

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At Mendicino Farms

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

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At Hard Rock Cafe for a Yelp event

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

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

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

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My mileage last week

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

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My runner sticker on a car entry

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

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

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

Posted in Running

Thankful Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought it’d be fitting to thank the people that have inspired me to go runner crazy. Whether intentionally or not, these people have made an impact on me for the better.

Ria, Melani, and Erin – You were the first few people I knew that ran half marathons. Even though we never discussed it, me secretly stalking your photos planted the seed in my brain. Haha! I am eternally thankful for you three sending me on the crazy half marathoner path. 🙂

Saif and Michael – My marathon buddies. Saif, thank you for your marathon wisdom. The tips you gave were awesome and really helpful. Michael, for being my actual marathon buddy. Even though, we are in different cities and ran different marathons, we helped keep each other accountable throughout the process and became marathoners the same day. Marathon twinsies? 🙂

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Two years ago at all of our first half marathons except for Michael (far right)

Boyfriend – I’ve said it a million times, but thank you for spending your Saturday mornings with me as I run for 3 – 4 hours at a time. Also, for letting me GO ON AND ON AND ON about running shoes, and other running related things without getting the least bit annoyed. I am definitely thankful for that.

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The boyfriend and I after the NYC marathon on our flight back home 

My family – Support from you means the world to me. Having you out on the sidelines cheering me on is just one of the best feelings a girl could have. Thanks a billion. 🙂

You – Yes, you. Friends and fellow bloggers. 🙂 You reading my posts, liking them, and/or commenting on them has meant so much to me. You guys unknowingly kept me going on days when all I wanted to do was lay in bed and bingewatch netflix. Thank you!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!