Mar 28, 2013

Another Race for Me and a First for Someone Else

My back is feeling much, much better! I am going to attempt another short run tonight and if all goes well I am going to attempt my long run this weekend. I have been religiously icing my back at work and at home and I think it has helped me tremendously.

Over the weekend, we attended a family gathering to celebrate a family member's first birthday. When we get together for family functions my niece and I like to talk running. My niece is new to running and she just ran her first marathon in January and hasn't stopped since. She mentioned a few races that she has coming up and you know how the rest goes. She twisted my arm and made me sign up for my fourth half marathon this year which is next Saturday. I missed the inaugural race last year due to an injury but I am kind of glad that I did because there was a big hill at the end of the course that has since been removed. There were also some issues with running out of water or cups at the event last year so I am glad that I did not miss out on that disaster either. In any case, I will still be playing it safe and bringing my own hydration like I always do. 
This distance fits in perfectly with my scheduled long run of 14 miles for next week. I have no goals for this race except to keep my pace in line with my training. I have my Ragnar Relay coming up in a few weeks too so I can't do anything too crazy.

My niece and I are not the only ones who will be running on this event. They also offer a 5K and a 10K so our other halves will be running their first 5K! We did the Color Me Rad 5K as a family last year but it was an untimed event without medals and we walked more than we ran. They will both be ready to actually run a 5K with no walking this time around. I am pretty excited for both of them! My niece mentioned going to brunch after the race at a place that is supposed to be really good so I am looking forward to that as well!

Does your spouse or significant other run with you?

Mar 27, 2013

Is My Back, Back?

My back was feeling a whole lot better yesterday so I couldn't wait to get home from work to run a few miles. The pain I have been experiencing is in the lower left part of my back and I only feel it when I turn my body to the left or sit for long periods of time (like my hour plus commute home). I do not feel any pain when I run but I am sure that running probably aggravates it. I have to say that I am proud of myself for not running for an entire 4 days! Of course I thought about it everyday and I was tempted to but I kept my eye on the prize and didn't do it!
I have also been finding ways to keep myself busy and distracted from running. All I have to do is hang out with my kids and somehow we end up in dangerous places! In case you are wondering who ate the biggest was me!
I have been in panic mode for the past few days thinking that another marathon is not going to happen for me. I have the option of dropping down to the half marathon but I really don't want to do that if I can help it. I really want to run this race but at the same time I have to be prepared for it both mentally and physically.

So how did my run go? Well, since I don't feel the pain when I run it is hard to say. I took it really easy and averaged about a 9:26 pace and now it is kind of  wait and see what happens.  I feel fine this morning but we shall see how the next 24 hours go.  I am keeping my fingers crossed but if the pain returns, I am going to be a huge mess stop running and re-think this.
In other news, my laptop decided that it likes to stay in "blue screen mode" and of course my warranty just expired! Isn't it great that things always decide to take a crap right after the warranty expires? I called HP to get some help/support with the blue screen issue and they basically wouldn't even talk to me if I didn't give them my credit card number and allow them to charge more that I paid for the laptop!  It might be time to look into that MacBook I have been lusting after for the past two years!
Thank you to everyone who has been so nice and supportive of me and my 10,000th injury! So many have asked how I am feeling and have sent encouraging thoughts my way. I really appreciate it :)

Anybody ever have the "blue screen" computer problem?

PC or Mac?
I have an iPhone and an iPad but not a MacBook.That's weird!

Mar 24, 2013

Marathon Training: Week Three

I was amazed at how well my legs handled the 17.5 miler last week. I had no soreness the following day and  it was a real confidence booster for me. I am also continuing to live in my compression socks and I have invested in a few more pairs. I have noticed my co-workers staring at my feet wondering why my socks are marked with "L" and "R." Hydrating after my runs is also important so I make sure I have plenty of this stuff on hand. I am loving the new Watermelon flavor right now! It reminds me of a watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher. I keep the tube in my purse so I always have access to it on the road and at work.
Since recovery has been going really well, I felt that it was safe to add a little more to my long run this week and then I hurt my back. BUMMER! I promised myself that I would back off  if I am not feeling 100% so I am taking some time off and resting per the doctor's orders. I spent all day Friday and Saturday resting and laying in bed with this guy and it seemed to help tremendously. I still feel a little bit of pain and am not 100% so no running until I feel zero pain!

Here is a summary of how Week #3 went:

Run #1: 7.25 Miles @9:22 (Hill Day!) This run was on a local trail that is 3 miles uphill and 3 miles downhill. It is a tough run up the hill for me but I know that it will only make me stronger, right?

Run #2: 8.25 Mile Tempo Run @9:08 . I ran the first 2.5 miles with my other half and the rest on my own. This run had some rolling hills but nothing too serious.

Run #3: FAIL!! My long run did not happen this week due to my back and I was pretty bummed! I woke up feeling much better this morning ready to run but knew that it was not the right thing to do. 

I will remain positive and focused and move things around so that I can stay on track with my training. It was tough not to run because I don't feel the pain when I run. I know that it is for the best and most importantly I don't want to do anything that is going to cost me in the long run!

Just when I was starting to feel a little more confident about this whole marathon thing, this back strain happens. We will see what this week brings and take it one day at a time.

How do you adjust your training plans when something gets in the way?

Mar 22, 2013

Why I Spent Most of My Day in Bed

I am more than bummed to share that I may be having a small setback with my training. I woke up with a pain in the lower left side of my back a few days ago. The pain does not bother me at all when I walk or run but it's there and I am thinking that continuing to running could make it worse.

I decided to make an appointment with my doctor to have it checked and he seems to think I have a lower back/lumbar muscle strain. He asked me to take a few days off from running, rest and ice the area. WHAT? I looked at him like he was crazy and asked him how many days is a few. He knows that I run and we always talk running when I see him. He used to run too so I am pretty sure he gets it when I look at him like he is nuts. I can only think of one way that this happened. Last Sunday I reached over the side of the four foot exercise pen, as seen below, that I keep the puppies in to grab something and I almost fell in. I guess I should have opened the door and entered the correct way! The pain dissipated and then a couple days later it was back and it was much worse.
I was planning my long run for tomorrow but it is on hold for now. I spent most of the day resting and icing my back in hopes that it will go away. The doctor gave me some anti-inflammatory pills but I am trying not to take them since they have a lot of side effects. I am hoping to be able to run on Sunday but if the pain is still there then I will go out of my mind and want to kill myself for missing my long run won't run. I really don't want to take a break but I know it is probably the best thing for me. It sucks that I may have an injury that was not brought on by running. I will take it one day at a time and see what happens. 

Have you ever had a lower back strain? Any advice?

Mar 21, 2013

Things I Am Loving Thursday and One Thing That I Am Not

1. My Nuun Singlet and Watermelon Nuun- I received my Nuun singlet via UPS on Tuesday and I was a little more than excited. I am not sure when or where I am going to wear it but I am excited to show it off! Speaking of Nuun, the new watermelon flavor is the next best thing to…I don’t know what!! It is my favorite flavor of the three new ones that they just released. You have to try the new flavors!
2. Spun Performance Compression Socks-I received the compression socks that I won from a giveaway on Monday and I tried them out. Not too bad and I think I kind of like them. I am thinking that I will use them for recovery since they blend in a lot better with my work attire. They are really comfortable and fit perfectly and are priced much cheaper than most compression socks!
3. Miles for March- I am so excited that I have ran 80 miles so far this month and we still have ten days left in the month. I know that I have to take it easy and not get too excited because when I do I tend to over due it and that can lead to things that I don’t like! The good old “I” word which I am not going to even mention! Bottom line is that I think it is going to be a good month for me!
I do have some really sad news and it is the one things that I am not loving this Thursday. My 12-year old Pom, Roxy, was diagnosed with heart problems. She started coughing over the weekend and after a trip to vet we learned that she has some fluid around her heart and a murmur. She is in the early stages of heart disease so I don’t think she is going to leave me any time soon. Thank the Lord because I love my dogs so much that I can't handle this kind of stuff! We started her on some medications and hopefully they will do the trick and keep her happy and comfortable for a while longer. I have had this girl since she was 8-weeks old and I love her to death. I don’t believe in buying dogs but someone else I know did and she kind of became my dog.
In other news, I found the limited edition Chapstick that I was looking for! I was so excited when I found them that you would have thought that I won the lottery! Did I ever tell you that if I forget my Chapstick on race day that I will totally have a terrible race?

Have you tried the new Nuun flavors?  Which is your favorite?

How is your March coming along?

Mar 18, 2013

Marathon Training: Week Two

My calves were a little sore after my 15 mile run last week but it was a good kind of sore. I threw some hills in and I kind of expected that I was going to feel something. I have been very disciplined with my stretching, icing and foam rolling and it seems to be working. I ran about the same amount of miles this week that I ran last week but increased my long run from 15-17 miles. I have been focusing on my long runs and will be alternating between "fast finish long runs" and "long, steady distance runs." You can read about these types of long runs in detail from McMillan Running if you are wondering what the heck this all means. 

We had a really warm week here in California so two of my runs were done on the treadmill but I found a way to make them more enjoyable! 

Run #1: 7 Miles @8:53 ( I did this run on the treadmill @runemz style #444!) After Mile 6.44 I kept going to get to 7 miles.

Run #2: 7 Miles @8:47 (my Pi Day Run)

Run #3: 17.5 Miles @9:14 (long, steady, distance run) I struggle with bringing down the pace on my long runs because I want to be done. I need to work on my endurance and let my body get used to running for long periods of time. This run felt great and the weather was perfect as well. The first half of my run was the worst part since it was all uphill but I need to challenge myself a little bit more and prepare myself for the course of the marathon I am planning to run.
TOTAL MILES: 31.5 with some cross training which included walking around the Happiest Place on Earth on Sunday. We just love this ride and can't get enough of it!
I am already nervous about my next long run as I will be attempting a distance that I have not tackled since last year. It will be a fast finish long run so it's going to be tough!

Did anyone run the LA Marathon?
The weather was actually perfect in Los Angeles and I heard there were lots of shiny new PR's!  I love laying in my bed watching the LA marathon on TV but I have to admit that I did feel kind of sad that I was not running it too!

Mar 15, 2013

Pho Fridays and $35.00 Potato Chips!

My Friday's are usually spent running errands like going to Target, Petsmart, Costco/Sam's Club and then the other stuff around the house like laundry and cleaning. I usually get a run in as well but my running schedule had to be moved around this week so that I can take my son to The Happiest Place on Earth. One of the reasons why I love my job is because I only work one Friday a month. Let's not talk about how I feel on that one Friday a month that I actually have to work. I have added a new item to the "Friday To Do List." I now have to eat Pho!

I now have two addictions: cupcakes and Pho! I can't get enough of this Pho stuff. I usually get the chicken noodle or the vegetarian. I am not a vegetarian but just love the tofu and vegetables. Today I decided to get creative and made it my own. I ordered the vegetarian with egg noodles in chicken broth. I loved it. The vegetarian usually comes in a clear broth since chicken broth would make it non vegetarian right? The price is right too. $6.50 for this huge bowl!
My son has also been bugging me about trying some new chips that Lay's has put out. Apparently you have to vote on the three crazy flavors that have been chosen as the finalists.  I think that the winner will become a new permanent flavor or something like that. I got lucky on Thursday and happened to find all three flavors in the back of the Lay's display at a market near my job. They crazy flavors were all shoved to the back and I when I was in the self-checkout I happened to spot them. We tried them all and I think that we all agree that Chicken and Waffles is the best of the three.
The Chicken and Waffles tastes just like maple syrup and chicken but I can't see myself eating half the bag like I can with the BBQ Lays. The Cheesy Garlic Bread tastes just like the name implies and the Sriracha was just too spicy for us. If you want to try them, Lay's is giving them away for free today from 4-8pm at your local Kroger store. Apparently these chips are very hard to get your hands on since they are now being sold on Ebay for $35.00!
I am looking forward to meeting up with some of my Ragnar Team members for a group run bright and early tomorrow morning. It is going to be warm so I am planning on starting early!    Have a Great Weekend!

Have you ever tried Pho? What is your favorite?

Have you tried these crazy flavored Lay's chips? Which one would you vote for?

Mar 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I am a Chapstick freak. I cannot leave my house without it and I always have one with me so matter where I go. Chapstick is even listed on my race day list because if I run without it I feel like my lips are going to fall off! Well, Christy won a giveaway for this Limited Edition Chapstick (the girl is on a serious winning streak) and I really want it now! It fills my Chapstick and cupcake addiction all in one shot! The problem is that I cannot find it anywhere except on Ebay for 10 X the price! I am thinking that having the taste of Velvet Cupcake and Cake Batter on my lips at all times may help stop my cravings for cupcakes....probably not but it's worth a try!

2. I won a great giveaway from Christy@ My Dirt Road Anthem! I won a pair of compression socks from Spun Performance Apparel and I am really excited to try them out. I have started wearing compression socks on all of my runs because I seem to recover much quicker, especially on my long runs. Thank You Christy, I hope my winning streak is as great as yours has been!

 3. Just when I though I had my fill of Girl Scout Cookies (because we ate all of the ones that we bought), my local cupcakery puts out their St. Patty's Day menu and announces that they are also baking up these yummy Girl Scout Cookie inspired cupcakes! I really hope I find that Chapstick (see #1 above) because resisting these is going to be really tough!

Mar 10, 2013

Marathon Training: Week One

My first week of marathon training is done. I am pleased with my first week and hope that things continue to stay on the positive side. Sometimes I think that I jinx myself when I sign up for a marathon so I am keeping my fingers crossed and trying to do all of the right things.

I had three quality runs this week that I was pleased with. I have been doing more stretching, icing and foam rolling/sticking in hopes of avoiding any injuries. My shins start to act up on my longer runs so I have to be careful. I am also trying to do some strength training and cross training even it is something as simple as walking the dogs.

Run #1: 6.25 Miles @8:26

Run #2: 8.50 Miles @8:51

Run #3: 15.35 Miles @8:30 (This was a great run and I felt strong the entire time even though I added a few uphill miles in there.)


I am not registered for any races in March which is allowing me to stay focused on my training and for Ragnar So Cal next month. I love racing and I am kind of bummed that I don't have a St. Patty's day race especially after I bought these PRO Compression Socks and this Team Sparkle skirt. 

I am thinking about saving them and possibly wearing them for my next marathon because I am going to need all the luck that I can get!! 

Tell me about your week? Any plans to run a marathon this year?

Mar 7, 2013

Talk Ragnar to Me

What a work week it has been! It has been crazy busy week at work and it seems like I come in, sit at my desk, and then it is time to go home. I actually enjoy staying busy because if you are bored at work you just watch the clock and the time never passes!
My work schedule requires me to work one Friday a month and this month there are five Fridays in March which means I will work two Fridays this month. Thank God that I love my job or else I would be a mess! I am truly blessed to hold the position that I do so I can't really complain.

I went to visit the captain of my Ragnar Team last night to talk about our upcoming Ragnar Relay and she always makes dinner for us. This is one of the biggest perks of having meetings at her house instead of Starbucks!
She made pasta with grilled chicken and served me way too much but of course I ate it.This lady really knows how to cook. It was that good that I stuffed myself and went home and crashed.
We are finalizing the details of our Ragnar Team, AKA "Runner's High," and I think we have finally secured a team of 12 people that are committed to doing this. Our captain also forced asked her husband's employer to sponsor out team and they agreed They are paying for our two vans and all of the gas to go in them too! Sweet! We had a few people drop off the team for personal reasons which was probably a smart decision since they were doing zero training which would have resulted in injury. We have since replaced them with some new runners who seem really motivated and excited to be a part of the team. We have a mix of men and women on the team and everyone is at different levels with their running. We even have a 17-year old boy on our team who runs 5-6 minute miles so we have old people (like me) and young people too.

I am Runner 10. I have a fairly simple job of running a total of 11.9 miles.

Leg 10: 5.6 Miles (Hard)
Leg 22: 2.2 Miles (Easy) This is the leg which I will probably have to run in the middle of the night so I plan on running like a bat out of hell because I am afraid!
Leg 34: 4.1 Miles (Moderate)
I was originally signed up to run a much harder set of legs but decided to take it easy since I have Mountains 2 Beach right around the corner and didn't want to risk an injury at the last minute. I was really close to leaving the team because it seemed like things were not coming together and I was starting to get stressed about it. I tend to stress out when I feel like things are not organized or progressing at the rate that I think they should be. I didn't want my first relay experience to be stressful by any means so the change has done me some good. The team is doing this relay just for fun so I am just going to enjoy the experience and have a good time!

Anybody else doing Ragnar this year? 

Do you tend to stress out when you don't have control over a situation and things are not going as you think they should be?
Does that make me a control freak?