Apr 30, 2013

A Question from an Anonymous Person

I received a comment from an anonymous person questioning why I have had this blog for over a year now but have not qualified for Boston so I thought I should answer. First of all, I have never trained to run a 3:45 marathon which is what I need to BQ. I have never given a time frame as to when I plan to BQ. The title of my blog "Boston Bound Brunette" simply means that one day I am bound to get there. It may be when I am 50 or it may be when I am 60! It may never happen for me but who really cares?

My current goal is to run a marathon in under four hours and I can't even tell you when that will happen! I am a pretty busy person, as most of us are, I work a full-time job and I commute 80 miles a day. I am a mother, a wife, a granddaughter to a woman who just lost her husband, and a daughter to a man who is fighting cancer, before I am a runner. That is just where my priorities are at right now. I don't run an incredible amount of miles and I am not a naturally talented runner as many of you are so a BQ will not come easy for me. I have to work really hard to achieve the small things that I do. I know that a BQ will require a much harder course of training than what I am currently fitting into my schedule. I have even considered hiring a running coach when I believe that I am physically and mentally ready to run an 8:30 pace for 26.2 miles.

I apologize if I misled anyone with the title of my blog as I was not trying to display myself as something that I am not or come across in any kind of arrogant way. Do I want to BQ? Hell yeah I do, but for now it is just one of those dreams that I will continue to chip away at and if it happens it happens. Until my day comes, I will continue to run to the best of my ability and do whatever I can do to get myself that much closer to my ultimate goal of running the Boston Marathon!

I hope that answers the question....

Apr 28, 2013

Marathon Training: Week 8

I had a good week! I manged to get four good runs in this week and completely nailed my long run. I don't think I have ever felt that good running 20 miles. I hope it is a good sign for my upcoming marathon. The only thing left for me to do is to convince myself that I can do it. I have to stop telling myself that the last 6.2 miles are the hardest and that I am going to fall apart at this point of the race. I have about four weeks left until my marathon and I am still planning on a 22-miler before I feel satisfied with my training.

Here is a summary of Week 8:

Run#1: 4.5 miles@9:23. I ran with my friend Pam and some other runners who participated in the run for Boston in Long Beach. I am so glad that I was able to attend because it felt great to run for such a good cause and I some new people. #runforboston #bostonstrong
Run #2: 8 miles@8:57. This was an unplanned run. I told myself that I was too tired to run but then I got out there and was able to do 8 miles without really thinking about it. I chose to ignore my Garmin and just run and I just kept going. These are my favorite kinds of runs since they do not happen too often for me. I am usually spent by the time I get home from work but not on this day!

Run#3: 4.5 miles@9:05 on the treadmill. Since my Monday run was shorter than planned I decided to make up for it since it was my day off.

Run #4: 20 miles@8:41 pace. The plan was to take it easy for the first half and then empty the tank on the last 10 miles with a fast finish. I was able to do it and my last mile was the fastest at 7:57. My legs felt great, the endurance was there and I was able to hold a pace that I consider decent for myself.  

Total Miles: 37

This week will be an easier week. I have a half marathon coming up this weekend and I will fit two shorter runs in this week as well. I don't have any big plans for my half marathon since this week should be a slower paced long run and I really need to learn how to run those long runs at the pace they should be ran at.

Did you race this weekend? What race?
Speaking of races, congratulations to everyone who ran Big Sur and Eugene!

Apr 24, 2013

4/19-4/20/13: Ragnar So Cal Relay (Runner's High)


What a non-stop crazy, exciting and fun experience I had over a 31-hour period! I had a blast and I am already looking forward to doing it again. We were not in it to win it and just wanted to have fun. We met at 4:30am on Friday morning at a location which was 10 minutes from my house which was great for me. We loaded up our bags, took a few pictures in our team shirts, decorated our vans a little bit and then headed out to the start in Huntington Beach. 
 
Our vans were overstocked stocked with lots of water, Nuun, snacks, pillows, sleeping bags and everything you can possibly imagine
Our driver (Van 2) is an IT Director so he had the whole techy setup going on in our van. We had no problems with charging our phones and he brought a laptop, an iPad, Wifi connection walkie talkies, and all that techy stuff. He also suggested that we use the app "Find My Friends" to track all of our runners so we could see their location at all times. This app was very useful and gave us a good idea as to when our runners would be coming into the exchanges and it was great for safety reasons too.
I was Runner 10 in Van 2 and the oldest member on the team. I earned the name "Grandma" and that is pretty much what they called me the entire time. The youngest runners on our team were 17 years old. They are fast and tackled some of the hilliest legs with 6:XX minute miles. There were times when these two almost beat the van to the exchange
Our team started at 7:00am and we all met at the start to see our first runner off. This sweet girl drove down from Arizona the night before to join our team since we had a runner who was injured and could not run for us. She was awesome!
My first leg started in Corona around noon when it was 85+ degree and seriously horrible! It was my hardest leg, not only I was nervous about getting lost but I ran out of water around mile 4 of a 5.7 mile distance. I kept the pace easy because I didn’t want to die out there but I think I was dying anyway. I met lots of nice people out there so I had some company to suffer with! Thank God I wore my Garmin because there were no mile markers out there with the exception of the "One Mile to Go" signs. I needed to know how much longer I would be suffering for. My average pace for this leg was 9:23.

My second leg was 2.2 miles  in San Marcos and I ran it around 1:00am in the darkness. Thank God it was flat and easy. It was 50 degrees and I got it done pretty quickly considering that I was dead tired and knew that sleep was not going to happen anytime soon. I ran into my friend Danica, who ran an Ultra with Team Sparkle, and we ran part of this leg together. I am glad that I ran into her because talking with her kept me awake for the first mile. I was really worried about getting lost at night but if you follow all of the flashing lights and headlamps from the other runners then it is pretty impossible to get lost. My average pace for this leg was 7:57.

My final leg was around 12:00pm in San Diego the next day. It was my best run of all. It was 4.1 miles, downhill at the start and flat all the way to the finish. I passed lots of runners on this leg and was out there by myself praying that I wasn't alone because I missed a turn! It was 75 degrees but there was a nice ocean breeze for most of the way. Although I was having a blast, I was glad to be finished due to lack of sleep and feeling hungry. My average pace for this leg was 8:17.


I did not experience a smelly van because our team reserved a really nice two bedroom villa at Exchange 18. We stayed at the Lawrence Welk Resort in San Diego which slept six and had everything we needed. We were able to eat dinner, shower and rest for a while we waited for Van 1 to complete their second legs. Once they were done we traded off so they were able to shower and rest as well. We even had time to return to the hotel after our second legs and shower again. I have never been so happy to see a shower and this was probably one of the most refreshing showers that I have ever taken in my whole life! It was also nice to use a "normal toilet" versus a porta potty!
Most of us were first timers so we learned a lot and we will be ready for our next relay. We had some great volunteers and our drivers were awesome too!  They never complained of being tired and did their best to get us to the exchanges on time.
Our drivers definitely gave us some serious lessons on how to drive vans and how to make the most creative illegal u-turns! We learned all about van tagging and our driver was pretty into it. He was tagging moving vans and even returned some items that were left on our van in much worse condition then we received them in!
 
Someone even tagged our van to laugh at me "Grandma."
We laughed a lot and the energy in our van was great! I did not sleep at all but I did catch some of our runners in the act! 
 
Our team captain finished off the last leg around 2:00pm and crossed the finish as a team which was pretty exciting. 


Then we headed home to have our team dinner at BJ's. It was nice to eat something other than pizza, pretzel chips, Pringles, granola bars and peanut butter!
The team had such a great time that they are already talking about doing it again next year or even Ragnar Las Vegas in November.  
Our team placed 89th out out of 371 Open Mixed Teams with a time of 31 hours and 7 minutes. Not too bad for some first timers!

Apr 23, 2013

A Tribute Run for Boston

Last week my friend Pam invited me to join her and a group of other bloggers from the OC to run for Boston. Pam is super sweet and is so nice to me even though I am way out of her league in the running spectrum! She is awesome and I admire her for all of her huge accomplishments. Her sons are absolutely adorable and ran with the group the entire time! I guess they are going to take after their mommy!
I met most of the girls that attended the run for the first time but follow their blogs. It was nice to actually meet them in person since they are some pretty amazing and inspiring young ladies. I took my friend Shawna from work along since she is trying to get back into running more miles.
Pam said a few words about Boston before we started and then we were off in honor of Boston.
Thank you for organizing this event Pam. Please remember to keep Boston in your prayers as they have a long road of recovery ahead of them.

Did you run for Boston yesterday?

Apr 22, 2013

Marathon Training: Week Seven

With all of the chaos and tragedy in Boston, running just did not feel the same to me this week. I did not focus on pace or really care about how fast or slow I was moving. I just felt grateful to be able to run and needed to get out to process everything that has taken place. My mind was so preoccupied with the events in Boston that I just ran. I ran with a free spirit and just got lost in thought about how many lives have been changed as a result of the senseless acts of violence. Boston is my ultimate running goal and I just wish that this memory did not have to be a part of it. I know that I cannot let the actions of this person/group of people change my feelings about running but it just makes me beyond sad that this has affected something that I love so much.  

Week 7 was pretty much dedicated to Boston and this is what I did for Boston this week.

Run #1: 7.00 Miles @8:38. The first 4.09 miles of my run were dedicated to Boston. The 4:09 miles symbolize the time on the race clock when the first explosion occurred. 
Run #2: 4.25 Miles @9:22. Boston was still heavy on my mind and heart so I thought a lot about it on this night run. I feel so badly for the victims who lost their lives and were severely injured. WHY?
So Cal Ragnar Relay Legs 10, 22, and 34! (Ragnar Relay) 12 miles: I will do a separate post to talk about my adventures as a Ragnarian which took the place of my long run this week.

TOTAL MILES: 23.25

I will get things back on track this week so I have to start mentally preparing for it. Tonight after work I  plan on joining a group of other runners for a Tribute Run for Boston.

Happy Earth Day!

Apr 21, 2013

I'm a Ragnarian!

I am an official Ragnarian! I had a blast! The heat was brutal but we survived!
I will have the recap up once I get caught up on my sleep!

Apr 18, 2013

What is in my Ragnar Bag and Plans for team "Runners High."

I don't mind packing my bags to go on a trip but I have to admit that I really dislike unpacking! Having said that, I promised myself that I would not over pack. I also had to keep in mind that I am sharing a van with five other people and they need some space too! I looked at a lot of packing lists for Ragnar that are floating around and I think I have everything I need. I also have water and snacks that I will be bringing with me and I might bring my pillow too. 


We were lucky enough to have two great companies sponsor our team. Our team captain was able to get her husband's employer to cover the costs of both of our vans and the fuel! Lucky us! We are also blessed that one of our team members is employed by BJ's Brewhouse and was able to get a donation from them as well. We plan on using the money to eat and celebrate as a team once we finish the relay. I plan to sleep on the way home, since we will have a long drive back from San Diego, and then be in full celebration mode when we return home. I am going to miss my boys since they will not be able to come and cheer me on.
 
I don't think we are dressing up but we did order custom shirts with our team name (Runners High) and team member and volunteer names on them. Our team reserved a hotel at one of the major exchanges so we will be able to rest and shower while Van#1 runs their second legs. Based on the average pace of the team, my second leg, which is only 2.2 miles, will happen sometime around 12:30am. I am a little nervous about the night run but since it is short it should not take me very long to complete. In addition to my reflective vest, safety light and headlamp, I bought these socks to keep me more than visible at night! Can you tell that I am a little nervous about the night running part?
 
It's been pretty crazy these past couple of days trying to get the last minute details in place. We also lost two of our runners at the last minute and had to replace them ASAP. One of them is injured and the other one never showed up for the team meetings or responded to any of the team captain's email, texts or phone calls for some reason or another. We do know that this person is okay so I am not sure why there was no response. 

I am feeling really nervous and excited about my first relay and I can't wait for the fun the begin! We are meeting up at 4:30am to take some pictures and head down to Huntington Beach. Our team starts at 7:00am so be watching for my tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram posts. I will be using the hashtags #socalragnar2013 and #teamrunnershigh to keep you updated on our progress. 

Anybody else going to be out there running So Cal Ragnar? Good Luck!

Apr 17, 2013

Maybe Next Year...

Nuun announced the 2013 Hood To Coast Team this morning and unfortunately I was not one of the 20 very lucky ladies to make the team! All of the applicants that were selected are so deserving and did a great job with their applications. It is hard for me to feel bad about not being selected for the team because there is no doubt that Nuun made the right choices. You can read all about it HERE if you haven't already.
I am not giving up yet and I will give it another shot next year! I had such a great time with my application and I am thankful for the opportunity to have even applied. Until next time I will be hydrating with lots of watermelon Nuun and working on more exciting adventures and accomplishments to share with Nuun in 2014!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2013 NUUN HOOD TO COAST TEAM!

Apr 16, 2013

A Run For Boston...

Last night I dedicated the first 4.09 miles of my run to those who feel victim to the horrible acts in Boston. Please continue to pray for those who were injured, lost their lives and for those who are broken over such a terrible and senseless act of violence.
 

Apr 15, 2013

Pray for Boston Marathon

I am heartbroken and so deeply saddened by tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon today. Please stop whatever you are doing and say a PRAYER! I am keeping all of those and their families who were affected in my prayers.
What is this world coming to?

A Visit With Grandpa

The weekend seemed to come and go so quickly! My weekend was pretty busy and I got a lot of things done. I got my long run out of the way on Saturday then got my hair cut later that day. I did not cut it all off yet but one day soon I am hoping to get brave enough to do it! 

My grandpa's grave marker was finally finished and placed a couple of weeks ago so I took my grandma to see it on Sunday. We spent some time cleaning the marker and decorated it really nicely for him. I am sure he would have loved it. We just found out today that the cemetery changed the schedule for removal of the flowers and decorations so they will remove all of this on Tuesday. Bummer!
After the visit, we took Grandma to In N Out to eat a burger. She loves their burgers and she seemed really happy to be surrounded by family. My Sunday was a rest and recovery day so that is pretty much all that I did with the exception of about four loads of laundry! 
I also bought some snacks for my Ragnar Relay this weekend and started packing my bags. I also bought a pair of CEP reflective night running socks so I hope they arrive in time for Ragnar. I am a little bit nervous about running in the middle of the night but I only have to run 2.2 miles so I will be treating my second leg of the relay as speed work! I am trying not to over pack but sometimes I get carried away. This is what I have packed so far and I need to get busy since I don't have much time left!


How was your weekend? Did you do anything special?

Apr 14, 2013

Marathon Training: Week 6

Six weeks flew by pretty darn quickly! I made it to the halfway point of my 12 week training plan which that means that I will be running a marathon in six weeks! SCARY! I am already getting nervous and I started thinking about my goals for this race. I wanted to have Goals A, B, and C but so far I have only come up with Goals A and B so far.
Here are the goals that I have come up with so far:

Goal A: Break Four Hours!! Anything under four hours counts, even it is 3:59:59!

Goal B: PR the race! In this case, anything under 4:05:16 would be a PR for me.

Goal C: ?? If I am in good physical condition I know I can finish the race so I don't want Goal C to be "Finish the Race."  I will have to give Goal C some more thought.
  
Here is a summary of how Week #6 went down:

Run #1: 7.00 Miles @8:38 on the treadmill. I have been finding that my first run of the week has been the hardest for me to do. I have to do some serious self talking to get myself to the gym to get it done. I think it might be the whole treadmill thing.

Run #2: 7.00 Miles @8:49. I took this run a little easier than Run#1 since I had big plans for a 18 miler and wanted to save my legs.

Run #3: 18.50 Miles @9:03 After running a 20 miler a couple of weeks ago, 18 didn't seem too bad from a mental prospective. The plan was to take this one at a slower and steadier pace to work on my endurance but I didn't do so well at following that because I felt so good. My long runs have been in a group setting or at least with one other person lately and I am starting to get used to it. I used to always run alone but longer runs are much better when you have company to pass the miles. The weather was just perfect and I wish that it had been race day!

TOTAL MILES: 32.50

Next week will be an easier week for me. It's RAGNAR RELAY TIME!! I am only running a total of 12 miles since I didn't want to overdue it and end up injured for my marathon. I decided to play it safe and the plan is to have a good time.

Good Luck to everyone who is running the Boston Marathon!!  
I cannot wait until my day comes! I will get there someday..

Apr 11, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. My laptop had the blue screen syndrome about a week ago so I had to send it to HP to be repaired. I finally have it back and it is nice not having to share computers with anyone in the house. I was really excited to see it when I got home from work on Tuesday and if you have not noticed, I have been blogging a little more than I usually do!
2. Last night was a get together for a final Ragnar Relay chat over at our Team Captain's house and she made tamales and homemade beans. The food was soooo good!  I have no self control when I go to her house. I love food and I will probably never be able to commit to a clean diet no matter how hard I try :(
3. I am so glad that I found this photo on the Facebook page of the last half marathon that I ran. This picture was taken right at the start and I look much worse in the actual race photos since they were taken towards the end of the race. 
In other news, this week is a five day work week for me and I don't get paid this week either. Booo! This afternoon ought to be fun since I have to attend Sexual Harassment Training. The videos they use in the training are pretty entertaining!

Apr 10, 2013

Let's Talk Shoes

Happy Hump Day! (That word gives me visuals of other things...sorry!) I don't know about the rest of you but I only have one pair of running shoes! I have seen some blog posts where runners have multiple pairs of shoes in their rotation at any given time. I am thinking that I should try that but when I look at the cost of my shoes I am not sure if I want to do that.

It took me some time to find the perfect pair of shoes and I am probably not quite done yet. I went from Nike's to Mizuno's and so far so good. I have heard great things about other shoes and I really want to try the Brooks Ghost out before I make the final decision to stick with my Mizunos. I tried the Ghost's on at an expo and they were so comfortable but I know that the true test is running in them.

I usually retire my shoes around the 400 mile mark so it was time to say goodbye to my old Wave Inspires and hello to my new ones. I broke them in on a 7 mile run on the treadmill last night.

Questions

1. How many pairs of running shoes do you have in your rotation any any given time?

2. What is the rule(s) for breaking in a new pair of shoes? Do the same rules still apply if your new shoes are the same brand, style, etc as the ones you are retiring?

3. How many miles do put on your shoes before you retire them?

4.  Any opinions on the Brooks Ghosts?

Apr 9, 2013

Marathon Training: Week Five

This week was supposed to be an easy week for me coming off of a 20 mile run last Saturday and a 35 mile week which is more miles than I usually run. I ran the Hollywood Half Marathon on Sunday which took the place of my 14 mile long run for this week.

Here is a summary of Week Five:

Run#1: 7 Miles at 8:53 pace.

Run #2: 7 Miles at 9:12 pace.

Run #3: 13.25 Miles (Hollywood Half Marathon) at 8:25 pace. This course was not easy and the hills kept me on my toes! My goal pace was 8:30 and I stayed on track for most of the race. 

Total Miles: 27.25 

My back is feeling a lot better and I was able to run my half marathon last week at an 8:25 pace without feeling any discomfort whatsoever. Yes, I am smiling as I say that! My legs are feeling pretty good as well and I have been pampering them with the new foam roller that I bought. The foam roller works miracles for my legs so I make time to do it. My dogs get way too excited when the foam roller comes out and they try to lick me to death!
I will be picking things up this week and shooting for a longer run this weekend. I hope the weather is as great as it was this past weekend. Ragnar So Cal is less than two weeks away and I am getting excited about it! It will be my first relay so I am anxious to get my feet wet with a relay.
I have to start getting all of my stuff together and need to do some shopping for all of my snacks. I have all of the supplies that I need to run the relay (as demonstrated by my son in my Hood to Coast application.) If you haven't had a chance to see my application, you can find it HERE. I think I need to stock up on Watermelon nuun too! I am neglecting all of the other nuun flavors at the very moment! Sorry...

Questions:
Did you have a great week? What are your running plans for the week?
I think I am going to shoot for a 18 mile run on Saturday or Sunday depending on the weather.