Nov 29, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Let me start with the good news and tell you that I am still on a winning streak and have managed to win two more giveaways since the last four that I reported! Here is what I recently won:

1) Free Entry into the San Diego Jingle Bell 5K from Skinny Runner. Thank You Sarah!

2) My Run, the movie, from Baby Weight My Fat Ass. I have never seen this movie before so I am excited to watch it! Thank You Michel!

I hope I don't start getting hate mail for stealing all of the giveaways! Please stop by and visit these two wonderful ladies and check out their awesome blogs!

Another good thing is that I PR'd at one of my Turkey Trots and cleaned up pretty well at the other! Now onto the bad....

Due to the strange pain that I developed in the back of my right leg/knee I did much of nothing last week. I missed two key runs and one day of cross training.  I spent most of the week being lazy and resting my leg. I guess it was a good thing that I did because my leg is feeling much better now. I am not quite sure what the pain was all about or the actual cause of it but now i know how to get rid of it should it come back. Other than the two 5K's and one day of cross training, I did absolutely nothing! 

I am coming down with a cold!  I am the type of person who never ever gets sick.  My son sleeps with me whenever he is sick and no matter what he has, I never catch it.  I think I may have picked this up from that cold air that I inhaled at my turkey trot on Saturday. It's mind over matter so I keep telling myself that even though I am sneezing and coughing like crazy, my nose is running like a faucet, and I am tired as ever, that I am going to be okay! I refuse to have another horrible week of doing nothing so I have to kick this cold in the butt!  I have a half marathon coming up next Sunday so I need to get better so I can keep up with Shawna as she goes for that PR that she has been chasing!

Good luck to everyone that is running in Las Vegas on Sunday.  I am sad that I didn't sign up for it and now it's sold out!  The Las Vegas Marathon holds a special place in my heart since it was my very first marathon. Blonde Ponytail also blogged about a blogger meet-up on Saturday so you might want to check that out if you are interested!

San Dimas Turkey Trot 5K: 11/26/11

I think I was pretty turkey trotted out the morning of this race!  I was not in the mood to run and I was seriously considering being a no show.  I finally got it together and decided that I might as well run it since I paid for it!  I guess I was feeling pretty satisfied with my PR from Thursday and got a little lazy!
Since bib pick up was only available the day of the race, I had to get up a little earlier than I wanted to.  When we arrived at the race, it was 43 degrees and I was so glad that I wore my new running tights! I had never ran in tights before so this was a change for me too since I always run in shorts. After picking up my bib, we went back to the car and finally decided to head back 15 minutes before the start time.
Can you find me?
The course was in a familiar place where I do lots of my long training runs but I had never actually ran in this particular area of Bonelli Park. The course was a bit hilly, in my opinion, and I didn't care for the way the course did a turn around half way through.  Any speed that you had going at that point was lost because you had to run around two cones and make a u-turn!

I was feeling really slow and lazy in the beginning and just kept telling myself to just go with what I felt.  My splits were not great and I know that I could have done better and pushed myself much harder. The air was so cold that it was difficult to breath normally and I never experienced that before. My feet were also frozen! Strange morning for me to say the least. My splits went something like this and I also forgot to stop my Garmin at the finish...FAIL!
Mile 1: 7:35
Mile 2: 7:42
Mile 3: 7:48-I dropped my water bottle and had to stop to pick it up..FAIL! I lost some serious time here but didn't really care for some reason.  A girl who had pretty much been running with me the whole time came over after the race and told me that I had a nice finish in spite of having to stop to hydrate.  Uh, that was not a hydration was a "I am too cheap to leave the dropped bottle behind stop!" 
I hope I finished before him!
The volunteers were serving pumpkin pie to the participants after the race and my son quickly volunteered to eat mine for me!
Good thing my son ate that pumpkin pie for me because I decided to support my favorite small business on Small Business Saturday and celebrated like this instead!
This turkey trot was a very small event with only 216 participants which is the only reason why I placed 20/216, 3rd overall female and first in my age group with a time of 23:56.  I ended up walking away with three medals in spite of a less than great performance. These small races can really give you an ego boost when you least expect it and it was nice to walk away with three medals.
I tried out my Handful bra for the first time and I have to say that I really like it.  It was super comfy and I actually looked like I had a handful!!  I think I am going to invest in another one or two or maybe I will add them to my Christmas/Fitness Wish List. 

Nov 25, 2011

Claremont Sunrise Rotary Turkey Trot 5K: 11/24/11

Instead of waking up early to cook a Thanksgiving feast, I was up early to run a 5K with Shawna and her sister Kristy.  I took Wednesday off so I decided to pick up my bib and timing chip the day before so I could sleep in.  The race was located about 20 minutes from my house so it was not a far drive at all.

It was a bit chilly out there but we warmed up pretty quickly once the race started.  I drove the course a few days before just to see if it was something that I should even attempt with the sore leg problem.  It was not a flat course but most of the first two miles were at a gradual incline.  Prior to this race, I had done absolutely nothing in the exercise department since last Sunday when my leg starting hurting. I was feeling bummed all week just hoping that I would be able to run.  I was feeling much better on race day and most of the pain was gone but still a little sensitive to the touch.
I started out pretty slow and the plan was to pick it up in the end if my leg was able to tolerate it.  The last mile was pretty much downhill so I figured that I could catch up in the end and finish strong.
This Turkey Trot went exactly as planned as you can tell by my splits:

My official time was 23:17 which is a 59 second PR for me!!  I placed fourth in my age group but no medal this time since I did not place in the top three. I will take my PR and be very happy with just that. The pain in the back of my right leg has kind of reappeared again so I am not sure how well my second Turkey Trot will go tomorrow.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  Was anybody brave enough to battle the Black Friday crowds? 

Nov 22, 2011

Pain Pain Go Away !!

I thought that my 18 mile run went great..I mean I felt strong and  believed that I had accomplished something beyond my norm since I didn't give in to the rain and throw in the towel. About an hour after my run, I started feeling this weird pain in the back of my right leg so I iced it right away.  It is in a strange place and I have never had pain in this area of my leg before but I am suspecting ITBS again. To be more specific, the pain is located behind my right knee where my leg bends.
Not my legs..I have thunder thighs!
I didn't feel any pain while I was running so I thought how could that long/slow run have caused this?? Anyway, I took some Advil and then hoped for the best.  When I woke up yesterday morning the pain was worse and was sensitive to touch!!  GREAT!   I have been icing and taking Advil and in denial worrying myself to death because I have two turkey trots on my plate this week and I was really looking forward to them.
I plan to do absolutely nothing until Thursday except rest, ice, stretch, overdose on Advil and foam roll!!  I am going to hate this idle period because I am going to feel lazy and fat all week, especially after I eat myself to death on Thanksgiving! Why is it that I always seem to develop these issues the week before or during a race??  If it is still hurting on Thursday I will have to walk it!  Since we signed up together, I promised my running buddy Shawna that I would show up at the turkey trot no matter what. I know that I MUST listen to my body as much as I hate to don't want to!! 

Enough whining from me, right! Anybody ever have leg pain in this specific area before?  Any ideas what this might be??

Nov 21, 2011

You Should Take Me to Vegas with You!

I am never really lucky!  I mean, the most I have ever won is $2.00 on a lottery ticket but I think my luck may be turning around!  I have won so many blog giveaways lately for running stuff that I really need.  Let me tell you about all of the wonderful things that I have won and then do me favor and stop by all of these awesome blogs and give these ladies a follow if you haven't already!

1) The first item that put me on a lucky winning streak was these awesome Aspaeris Pivot Shorts.  This giveaway was hosted by Christina over at The Athletarian.  I tried them out for the first time on my 18 mile run over the weekend and I really like them.  They were created to prevent injury in females and enhance performance so you should look into getting a pair of these bad boys! Thank You Christina!

2) The second awesome item I won was a Handful Bra from Jennifer over at Running with the Girls.  I haven't tried it out yet but I love the way it looks on me.  It was designed to "flatter and not flatten" like most sports bras do. I am not very well endowed to begin with so it makes me look like I have a little something!  I chose the pink and it's super cute! I have heard lots of great things about it from other bloggers so this is another item that is worth trying out. Thank You Jennifer!

3) I was really feeling lucky today since I won two items!  The first item that I won was a knee compression sleeve from Tommie Copper.  This giveaway was hosted by Stephanie over at Run for Fun.  According to Tommie Copper's website, this knee sleeve relieves joint pain all day and combines comfortable compression and copper yarn for maximum relief. I haven't received this item yet because I just found out that I won it today but I will have to let you all know what I think of it once I give it a try.  Stop by Stephanie's blog and give her some love for rocking her first marathon!! She is still on a marathon high! Thank you Stephanie!

4) The last item I won and I hope it doesn't stop here was from Beth over at Running Around My Kitchen. Her giveaway offered 20 lucky winners a pair of Wrightsocks.  What got my attention about these socks is that they are guaranteed not to give you blisters due the double layer moisture protecting system! Beth swears by them and has never suffered from blisters while wearing them so I hope I am as lucky as her.  I always seem to get blisters during a marathon so this may be the solution! I can't wait to receive these and try them out. Thank You Beth!

Being the recipient of all these great giveaways makes me feel like I should be giving something back, right? I have never been approached to try out a product since I am just an average runner with just a few awesome followers. I am fairly new to the blogging world so maybe I can ask all you  seasoned bloggers this question: How do most you of receive the opportunities to host these great giveaways?  Do you approach the companies as a user of their products or do they approach you?

Nov 20, 2011

Week 5 Recap, My New Addiciton and Happy Turkey Day!

Week Five Recap: My training continues to challenge me but I still doing my best to stick to it and not miss a workout unless I really have to. Other than this strange pain I am having in the back of my right leg near my knee, which I hope goes away, life is good in my running world. Here is what I was able to conquer this week:
Monday: XT#1: Ran 2.24 Miles to meet my 1000 Mile Goal and then did my 45 minutes on the Life Cycle (10.50 Miles).

Tuesday: XT#2: One hour Spin Class.  The regular instructor was back and the workout was much better. She tends to give us a lot of repeat intervals so I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again but I was sweating!! I have yet to try out my cycling shoes that I scored a great deal on. For some reason I am afraid to try them in fear of not knowing how to use them. (Dumb, I know.)

Wednesday: Speed Workout: 6 miles.  I hit all of my target times but man was I tired.  My RI's were longer than they should have been so I cheated a little. Oh how I love speed work since I always end up with some kind of new ache and pain the day after!
Thursday: REST DAY

Friday: 6 Mile Tempo Run

Saturday: I was supposed to do my long run today but I put it off until Sunday knowing that there was a 60% chance of rain. I was just too lazy and spent the day doing all of my errands, some Christmas shopping, and eating of course. I knew I was going to pay for being a procrastinator!

Sunday: 18.11 Miles: The weather was great, 44-51 degrees, but I could have done without the rain for the first five miles. It wasn't raining that hard but more like a heavy drizzle. The drivers had their windshield wipers on so I guess there was enough falling to say it was raining and to justify all of the weird looks I was getting.  I wore my Brooks jacket that my husband gave me for Mother's Day for the first time and good thing I did because it kept me nice and dry :)  I thought about turning back at Mile 5 because it started coming down a bit harder and I was getting cold but the minute the thought crossed my mind, the rain stopped and sun was trying to peek through. I kept going and hoping for the best. The last 13 miles were great and I felt strong the whole time.  I love when I have a great run especially when it is a long run!

Total Mileage= 40.61 (30.11 of those miles were running) 

 My New Addiction:
I am a Starbucks fan all the way. I must have my venti, skinny Caramel Macchiato every morning, or close to that, especially when it is cold but it can be an expensive habit as you know!  Lately I have been making hot chocolate at home in my Mr. Coffee Cocomotion machine.  All you do is add milk, the hot chocolate mix and it does all of the work for you! It shuts itself off when it's done and the chocolate is so frothy and delicious! I am not a big fan of hot chocolate from Starbucks since it has more of a mocha taste to it so for now my new addition is hot chocolate from my house! 

I am so looking forward to my two Turkey Trots next week since i am skipping my speed workout.  I think it will be a good opportunity for me to see if my 5K performance is improving since incorporating speed work into my training plan. I am not so much focusing on my time but more on how I am feeling physically while running at a faster pace. My friend Shawna, who holds a smokin' PR of 23:01, will also be running the 5K.  I guess I will be eating her dust!!Good luck to everyone who is turkey trotting this week.  It seems like most of us are doing some kind of race so that we can eat ourselves into a food coma! Happy Turkey Day!!

Nov 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. Sorry Speed Workout but I will be turkey trotting!  I am so in love with doing speed workouts that I decided to run two Turkey Trots (5K's) instead of doing my speed workout next week.  I will be trotting on Thanksgiving Day and then I will be trotting again on Saturday. This is just my way of justifying all of the feasting that I will be taking part in.  I will trot before I eat to ease the guilt and and then I will trot again on Saturday to justify it even further! I am so thankful for Honeybaked because they will be cooking the hard stuff for me while I am out running.  My family loves their ham the best anyway so why bother if they are already happy!

2. I swore that I would not buy another thing from lululemon for a long time but I lied!  I bought the cutest running skirt today!  I wore a lululemon running skirt in the 10K that I ran last week and I loved it so much that I bought another!  I thought it would feel weird to run in a skirt but I didn't even notice I had a skirt on and it was super comfy. Since I earned an instant PR I thought I better reward myself and went ahead and did the damage!

3.Today is my day off from my training! Amen! I am so excited because I am absolutely exhausted!  I am not sure what I am going to do with myself tonight since a large part of my evenings are committed to training. Maybe I will head on over to Yogurtland and try out some of the new seasonal flavors they posted on their website! Have you tried them yet?

Nov 15, 2011

1000 and Counting!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I was 2.24 miles away from reaching my goal of 1000 miles for the year.  It was supposed to be a cross training day for me since my legs were a little tired after running a 10K the day before.  Not that 6.2 miles is anything fantastic but it was a really hilly course and my legs are not big fans of hills!

I went to the gym to do my 45 minute ride on the Life Cycle as my cross training workout for the day and once I spotted the treadmills I could no longer resist the temptation to run. Having 997.76 miles under my belt for the year and being so close to reaching 1000 was just too much for me to what did I do.................

Yup, I put my crazy mind to rest and jumped on the treadmill and knocked out 2.24 really slow miles.  I still did my 45 minute cross training session on the Life Cycle too!  Yippeee for me for another Running Goal achieved! 

I guess it is time to set a new goal for 2012? high should I set that goal?

Nov 14, 2011

I Have a Handful Now and a Weekly Recap!!

I Have a Handful Now!

I am so excited that I won an awesome giveaway from Jennifer over at Running with the Girls.  I won a Handful Bra and I am so excited!  I requested it in pink and I can't wait to receive it and try it out! Unfortunately that is not me in the picture!  Maybe if I use that handful bra enough I might come close to having that kind of body! Wishful thinking...

Week Four Training Recap: I had another  productive week and I am really pushing myself to stay disciplined about my training.  I hit all of my target paces/times and I did much better on my long run.  Sticking to my long run pace kind of happened on it's own because I was just tired and I had done a speed workout the day before.  I normally take a day off after a speed workout but my schedule was really busy last week and I had no choice but to follow it with a long run.


Monday: REST DAY

Tuesday: XT#1: 1 hour Spin Class.  The instructor was a substitute and the workout was not as challenging. There were a lot of first-timers in the class so I think he didn't want to scare them off.

Wednesday: Speed Workout: 6.8 miles.  I hit all of my target times but my watch died so I cut my cool down short.  Speed work is still challenging me and my behind always seems to hurt the next day. 

Thursday: 20 miles: I got a late start because I was tired and really wanted to put this run off until the next day but due to the chance of rain, I had to do it. I thought about turning back so many times but I knew that I had to keep going!


Saturday: XT#2: 45 minutes on Life Cycle (16.16 miles)

Sunday: Mission Inn Run 10K which I substitued for my 6 mile tempo run.

Total Mileage= 49.16 (33 of those miles were running)

I am super close to meeting my goal of running 1000 miles for the year.  I am currently at 997.76! I love meeting my Running Goals but that also means that I have to raise the bar and continue to challenge myself. I was planning on making today a cross training day but now I am tempted to go for a 2.24 run to hit that 1000 mile mark today!

This week will be just a tiny bit easier than last week since I have an 18 miler on the schedule!  Have a great week and congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend!

Nov 13, 2011

Mission Inn Run 10K: 11/13/11 (My First 10K)

Yes, I finally ran a 10K!  I went into this race without any real goal but simply to see where I stood with this distance.  I planned to run at a comfortable pace and use my time to predict times other predicted times at various distances.  Earlier this week, I squeezed a 20 mile run in (a day after my speed workout) so I really pushed my legs to the limit. They were not very happy with me this week.

I am a big time weather watcher if you haven't noticed by now.  I was worried that it was going to rain and I wasn't looking forward to running in the rain but I guess there is a first time for everything.  I was in no matter what.

This was a very small race but it offered a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and a Kids Run too. The 10K started at 8:30am and the weather turned out to be much better than I expected.  It was a little on the cold side at the start (48 degrees) but the sun was out so I found a spot in the sun and waited for the race to start.

The course seemed pretty hilly to me. The minute I went up a hill it seemed like I was turning a corner and heading up another.  Although I had no real goal in mind, my goal of running a 10K in under 50 minutes kept playing in the back of my mind.  I started out a little faster than I anticipated because the very first part of the course was downhill but after the first mile I slowed myself way down and tried to maintain an 8:00 minute pace.  If I was unable to hold that pace, I didn't have a problem with slowing down and sticking to a pace that was comfortable for me. I slowed myself down on all of the hilly parts of the course because the last thing I wanted to do was kill myself and run out of gas early on.

The last couple of miles were on a bike trail and even that darn thing wasn't flat.  I was starting to feel a little tired at Mile 5 but I told myself that I had one more mile to go and convinced myself to stay strong.  I gave it all that I had the last mile, and pumped out a 7:30 pace until I saw the finish.  I was really excited to see the clock since I knew that I had a chance to finish in under 50 minutes.  I finished in 49:39 and accomplished another one of my Running Goals!  I also earned an automatic PR since this was my first 10K!!
My husband and I hung around until they posted the official results and then another surprise.  He told me that I finished second in my age group which meant that I earned a second medal!  The medals are about as cute as the hilly course that they make you run but they are taking up more space on my empty medal hanger so it is starting to look better already! I love these small races since they are the only races that I am probably ever going to place in!
I felt much stronger in this 10K than I did in my 5K last month and I think it has something to do with those crazy speed workouts that I have been doing for the past few weeks! Thank you speed work but I am still not in love...
The race ended at the Mission Inn so we wandered over to take a few pictures and use the ladies room.  They use fresh hand towels, not paper towels, in their restrooms, so I took full advantage and washed my nasty, sticky, salty face.  Kinda of tacky..I know, but that cold towel on my face sure felt good!

Nov 11, 2011

Happy 11-11-11!

I am so glad that the weekend has finally arrived and it's 11-11-11 and Veterans Day all in one!  Don't forget to honor those veterans in some manner today! We wont see another 11-11-11 for another 100 years so I am sure there must be tons of people getting married today at 11:11 am.  I can only imagine how busy Las Vegas/Sin City will be today with over 3500 marriage licenses being issued!

At this time of the year, the days just seems to fly right by.  Once Thanksgiving arrives, Christmas sneaks up on you and by the time you know it, 2012 will be here!  I love the holiday season and listening to Christmas carols on the radio which really make it feel like the holiday season! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I host a big party at my house every year to celebrate with my family.  It is one of the only times of the year when our families get together to visit, eat, drink and be merry. I love decorating my house with tons of icicle lights, snowflakes and cute animated figures. Christmas is just so much fun!  It also gives me a great excuse to shop and spend money that I don't have!

I planned on making today a cross training day but I have decided to take it easy after that 20 miler I survived yesterday! I plan on running the 20 mile distance a few times before my next marathon in February.  This is my most unfavorite distance because it is almost like running a full marathon! My legs were pretty tired and achy after my run yesterday but this morning they are feeling much better.  I was a little worried about being sore for my 10K on Sunday but I think I am going to be fine. Wish me luck since it's my first!  I am a virgin 10k'er!

Good News!  The chance of rain in Riverside, CA has gone from 60% to 10% for Sunday which means that I probably won't be running my first 10K in the rain after all.  After watching the weather conditions of the last LA Marathon, I don't think that running in the rain is for me!  I would probably survive for about an hour but not much longer than that!!

Is anybody running any races this weekend?  Two of my favorite bloggers, Vanessa (Gourmet Runner) and Katherine (Neon Blonde Runner), will be running their very first full mary tomorrow so please visit their blogs to wish these two awesome runners some encouragement and good luck!

One last thing, if you are planning to sign up for any Rock 'n' Roll series races, they are offering a $20 discount on registrations today from 11am to 11pm PST.  Some races are excluded but most are included so check it out and get some races on the agenda for 2012!

Have a great weekend!