Jun 30, 2013

Spectating a Race-The Pasadena Half Marathon/5K/10K

I thought about running this race but decided not to since I didn't want to deal with the heat! My other half and some of his relatives had invited us to run with them but I knew that I had a long run on the books and I felt like I was trying to squeeze in too much for the week. I decided that I would spectate a race for the first time in my life knowing that it would be a different feeling because I never pass up an opportunity to run!

This is the only distance that my other half will run although he has been kind of hinting at a 10K. I am sure pretty soon he will be talking about a half marathon after the 10K and then once he completes a half we all know how the thoughts of running a marathon sneak into the back of your mind. I really hope he decides to run a marathon. I would love to run it with him and cross the finish line as a team. He thinks it's pretty crazy and swears he would never do it but we shall see.. I used to say the same thing!
Normally my other half is my photographer and the person who stands out there for hours waiting for me to finish my race. He pretty much attends every single one of my races and never complains. I thought it would be fun to do the same for him this time around. I enjoyed myself so I am glad that I did.
It was a hot day and it was about 79 degrees at 7:00 am when the 5K started and about 82 degrees when they finished. It was not a PR for him since the heat was a little overbearing and they decided to take it easy. He finished in 31:49 but he picked up the course at 3.44 miles since they had to cross over to the opposite side of the street to get to the water stops.
They had a great time and my son was amazed with all of the media coverage that was there. He really wanted to be on TV and was standing anywhere he could see the cameras!
Watching those runners crossing the finish line was tough because I wanted to be doing the same! It was fun to cheer on all of the runners but the thought of wondering how long it would have taken me to complete the 5K is still dancing in the back of my mind. I guess that is just the runner in me.

Does your spouse or significant other support your running and attend your races?

Jun 29, 2013

Weekly Recap (6/24/13-6/30/13) and How I Survive the Heat on My Long Runs

This picture pretty much sums up my week! This is the biggest reason why I hate training for a winter marathon. I am not a big fan of the treadmill for anything over 6-7 miles but I am sure that I will spending a lot more time with the beloved dreadmill to beat the heat this summer!
I had a decent week with the exception of the heat and I am trying to get my mileage back up again in hopes of squeezing in another marathon by the end of year. Here is how my week turned out.

Run #1: 7.5 miles@ 8:46 on the TM: Had to stay late at work to attend a City Council Meeting. Since I live 40 miles away from work, I left work at my regular time and drove to the gym which is about 4 miles away from my office. I got my run in, took a shower and then headed back to work. No excuses, right?
Run #2: 7.5 miles@8:29. I got my first taste of the early morning heat on this run. I wanted to get a run in before we headed to Disneyland and at 6:00 am it was already 70+ plus degrees out there.
Run #3: 15 Miles @ 9:15I planned this run for Saturday morning, as you can see above it was a hot day! Sunday was supposed to be even hotter so I stuck with it, but it was not easy and was probably one of the toughest runs that I have experienced in quite a while. The temperature was 73 when I started and was 84 by the middle of the run. I kept the pace easy because I knew if I didn't I wouldn't be able to complete the planned 15 miles. I drank some chocolate milk after my run and it hit the spot!

Next week I am shooting for a long run of 18 miles at a faster pace but if the heat is still a factor then I will definitely be taking it easy!

Total: 30 Miles

How do you survive your long runs during the summer months?
I map out the shadiest routes I can find, wear sunscreen at all times, wear the least amount of clothes that I legally can and stay hydrated. I even have my spots wear I stop to refill my water bottles. I get some crazy looks when I walk in all sweaty and beet red! Here is one of my spots where I always stop to refill my bottles. Can you guess where this is at? I will give you a hint...it starts with Mc..
If you run your long summer runs on the treadmill, what is your record distance on the mill?
My record distance on the treadmill is 13.1 miles

Jun 24, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

I have been hearing that Google Reader will be going away for some time now but haven't done much to make the switch elsewhere. I figured I would hang on until the last minute since it hasn't gone away quite yet. I have been reading some posts about Bloglovin' and decided to check it out last night.

I think I like it! It is so much easier to manage the blogs you read and much easier to add and delete blogs too. I found that it was much more time consuming to make changes in Google Reader. I also like that I can easily see all of the unread posts from all of the blogs that I follow so I don't miss anything!

I added a Bloglovin' button on the main page of my blog so that you can follow my blog or you can click here if you haven't already! 

Have you made the switch over to Bloglovin'?
Don't forget to follow my blog on Bloglovin'!

Jun 23, 2013

Weekly Recap-6/17/13-6/23/13

This week was a little tough for me! I had some pains in my achilles from wearing heels  during my graduation! They were not very high at all but I guess I am not used to wearing them!  I am not a fan of high heels and you will rarely see me wearing them! I was also walking funny in them because my heels kept sinking into to the grass. I did not get a run in until Wednesday and it was a pretty easy one. It is no fun to run through pain so I never take any chances. I wanted to allow myself time to be pain free until I would attempt a run and I am glad I did! Everything is good now.
Run #1: 6.2 Miles on the TM @9:40. This was a super easy paced run but it feels good to take it easy every once in a while. It took me a while to get going but once I did I was able to pick it up a bit in the end.

Run #2: 8.0 Miles @8:40 pace. This was a tough run for me! I was barely hanging on to maintain an 8:40 pace!

Run #3: 13.15 Miles @8:56 pace. The weather was perfect and overcast during my entire run so I kept the pace easy and made this a long and steady run. Next week I will push the long race at a harder pace.

Total Miles: 27.35 Miles

In other news, my other half finally got the bike trainer set up this week so I am looking forward to putting in some miles on my road bike that I bought a year ago but have never used! 

I decided not to run the Pasadena 5K so I will spectating a race for the first time. I will stay with my son and switch roles and be the photographer while my other half runs. I know it is going to be a weird feeling because I am not used to being on the other side of things. 

This coming week is going to be tough for running due to a busy schedule. I have to work late on Tuesday to attend a City Council Meeting, the 5K is on Sunday and I am trying to take my niece to Disneyland as well. NO EXCUSES so I will find time to get my runs in no matter what!

Have you ever spectated at a race? Was it difficult to do?

High Heels or Flats?
Flats, Flip Flops and Running Shoes for me!

Jun 20, 2013

My Graduation in Mostly Pictures

The commencement ceremony happened to fall on Father's Day which I thought was kind of odd but it turned out to be a great day. I spent the day with family which included my Dad and my Grandma. Even though it was warm out there, I am glad that I decided to participate in  the ceremony and I know that my Dad was proud of me. He always is.
If you are thinking about going back to school to get your degree, I strongly encourage you to do it.  At first I was intimidated to go back and get my Master's degree but if you have the drive and are willing to dedicate the time then it's a piece of cake. It is kind of like running when you think about it. We are capable of so much more than we ever thought!

Jun 15, 2013

Weekly Recap (6/10/13-6/16/13): Getting Back on Track

I have been laying low for the past couple of weeks and haven't been running too many miles. I wanted to make sure that I allowed my body to properly recover. I am finally feeling like it's time to get back into things and this week was the start. My week is done today since I have a planned rest day tomorrow. 
Here is a recap of my week:

Run#1: 7 Miles@8:52 on TM. We have new treadmills at the gym and I can hardly feel the fan. I was sweating like crazy and really miss the fans on the old treadmills. I have even considered bringing my own battery operated fan. That is how hot I feel in that gym!
Run#2: 8 Miles@8:21. I broke in a new pair of shoes and I must have been really excited about it because I had a great run. My goal was to keep the first mile easy to warm up and then run Miles 2-7 between 8:20-8:30 by feel and then last mile would be a cool down. It ended up being Mile 1: 9:12, Miles 2-7 (8:28, 8:16, 8:15, 8:15, 8:16, 8:17) Mile 8: 7:51. I seem to run much faster than when I do not watch the Garmin. Not sure why that is?

Run#3: 12 Miles@8:43. This was supposed to be a group run and I ran a few miles with the group and most of the run on my own. They were making too many stops and I do not like to stop unless I have to since it is hard for me to get back into a comfortable pace with too many breaks.

Total Miles: 27

Next week my long run will be a 13-14 miler at MGP (Marathon Goal Pace.) I haven't decided what marathon I am running yet but I want to stay in training mode and continue to improve my pace and endurance. 

Tomorrow is a planned rest day since it is Father's Day and my Graduation! I am looking forward to spending some time with my family and celebrating Father's Day with the men who are most important in my life.

What are your plans for Father's Day?
We are planning to go to my graduation and then have lunch together. Restaurants are always so crowded on Father's Day but we always make reservations way in advance.

Jun 14, 2013

Feeling Thankful and a Little Lucky Too!

I am feeling so thankful today for the many blessings in my life. So many good things have happened to me in the last few weeks and I am always reminding myself to count my blessings. I am feeling so grateful and I have even had a little bit of luck on my side too!

1) I am thankful to be spending Father's Day with my Dad this Sunday. I never imagined that he would be such a fighter and be able to tolerate his cancer treatment so bravely! 

2) I will be graduating this Sunday. Yes the commencement ceremony falls on Father's Day. I am so thankful that my Dad will be sitting out in the audience watching me participate in the ceremony. I want him to be proud of me and know that he raised me the right way and instilled so many values in me. Education is something that my Dad was not able to pursue and always encouraged me to do so I am sure he will be proud. 

3) I am not sure if my last marathon PR was a result of good luck or not but I am still feeling so grateful that I was able to improve my time more than I even expected to! More than anything I am grateful that I am able to run because so many cannot.
4) I am also feeling pretty lucky! I won an amazing giveaway from Run with Jess! Jess is a pretty inspiring runner who is always running some kind of race and striving to meet new goals. Thank you for all of the awesome goodies Jess! You made my day!

Remember to count your blessings every single day!
What are you grateful for today?

Jun 11, 2013

Weekly Recap (6/3/13-6/9/13) and Another Marathon in the Near Future

Last week was a really low mileage week (18.34 miles to be exact) plus I threw a little 10K in there last Sunday and felt pretty strong and pain free. I did better than I expected for not looking at my watch. I am not sure if I will do that again since I think I would have done better if I had looked at my Garmin a little sooner than Mile 6!

I am planning to start running at least 25 miles per week starting this week. It has been two weeks since my marathon so I feel like I have completely recovered and I am ready to get back into things. With summer making it's debut on June 21st, I have been hesitant to sign up for any races in the month of June or July. I do not run well in the summer heat but will probably end up training through the summer to prepare myself for another marathon at the end of this year or in early 2014.
I am registered for the Long Beach Half Marathon in October and may consider moving up to the full marathon if that is what works out for me. I have my eye on a ton of other marathons I want to run but I have not committed to anything as of yet. I really want to run an out of state marathon since most of my races have been local but travel costs can be expensive. I think I might consider planning a vacation which conveniently falls on the same day as a race!

I haven't ran a 5K in quite some time and I am considering running the Pasadena 5K on June 30th. Some other family members mentioned it to us the other day and I have kind of been thinking about it. Since it might be hot, the distance should not be so bad. I might even run it with my other half since he is starting to like this whole 5K thing and wants to improve his time.

Do you run races during the summer months? 
How do you survive marathon training in the summer months?

Jun 8, 2013

6/8/13: Ontario Mills 10K

This starting line of this race is about 2.5 miles from my house and the bib pick up is less than a mile from my front door but can you believe that I have never signed up for it? This event is usually held in January and it rains almost every year that it is held so I think that is what has held me back. The event is always held on Saturdays as well and I most of my classes for school were held on Saturday mornings which also stopped me from signing up. Since the event was held for a second time this year I decided that I would give it a try. It is a super small race so I figured what the heck.

I set my alarm for 6:00 am and left the house by 6:35 am. I parked and spotted Megan right away at the 5K start. We chatted for a bit and then her uncle told me that the 5K and the 10K started in different spots so I had to hurry and run to the 10K start. It was not far away but it would have been nice if something was posted to let the runners know the plan.
The 5K and the 10K started at the same time and there was no timing mat at the start which I found odd. Apparently the start time is the same for everyone and your time is picked up when you finish. I wish I had known that or else I would have gotten just a little bit closer to the front. I am also glad that I was not shooting for a PR!
I decided that I would try to run these miles by feel and not look at my Garmin. It was tough because there were no mile markers after the 5K mark and I really wanted to see my pace. The last half seemed really long but I hung in there and stayed strong. I settled into a comfortable pace around mile 2 and then kind of picked other runners to help pace myself. I ended up passing most of them and felt really good the last mile so I picked it up a bit. I am still kicking myself about Mile 2, which is the only mile that was not under a 8:00 pace!
Megan and her family were waiting at the finish and we hung out and talked for a while. It is always fun to meet up with other bloggers. It is almost like you have known them forever but you finally get to see them in person.

Let me say that this was a very, very small race! There were roughly 137 people who ran the 10K and 69 of them were women. I ended up being the 6th woman overall and second in my age group. Only in this small of a race will I ever place! 
My official time was 49:40 which was not a PR but had the course picked up at 6.2 miles then it would have been! My Garmin picked it up at 6.33@7:51 pace.
This was my 9th race this year! I still have to complete four more races to meet my goal of 13 races in 2013!

Jun 6, 2013

Three Things Thursday

 1. I didn't get a run in on National Running Day because my son was under the weather and my Grandma needed help balancing her checkbook. Family first so I will head to the gym tonight to get a good run in on the treadmill because it's going to be 85 degrees today. I was bummed but when you are mom it happens!
2. I have been really wanting a Nutribullet and I finally got one. My Grandma bought it for me as a graduation present and I am so excited! It was $99 but we only paid $60 after all of my discounts and Kohl's cash. I thought it was a pretty good deal! We tried it out last night and I love it! My son was not so fond of it because he said our concoction smelled and tasted like plants. He prefers his without the spinach of course.
 3. I am running a small, local 10K on Saturday. I am so not ready for it but I am just doing it for the heck of it since it is within running distance of my front door. How often does that happen for me? Almost never. I am also excited to be meeting up at the race with this lady and this lady! This will be even better than a PR!

 Anybody have any good Nutribullet recipes they want to share with me?

Jun 5, 2013

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day! I run for so many reasons. I run to relieve stress. I run for the challenge. I run for those who cannot. I run for my Dad who is battling cancer. I run to enjoy the company of the many friends that running has brought into my life. I can't lie though I also run because I love to eat!

When I first starting running, my goal was to lose weight but then it quickly became my passion. I promise that the "eating whatever I want" part of running is not as bad as it sounds. I now make better choices but if I want to have one of those cupcakes that I love, it now comes with less guilt because I know that it is not going to kill me.

Today I am planning on going out for a short run without my Garmin. Today I just want to enjoy the fact that I can run and not have to worry about time or anything else. 


Jun 3, 2013

So What Is Next For Me and My Goals for June?

Now that I have unexpectedly come closer to that BQ, it is almost a given that I must continue to chase it down! I have had some time to digest my last marathon and start thinking about what I want to do moving forward. I am a little over four minutes away from a BQ time of 3:45 but in my mind that is a huge amount of time to shave off of a marathon time. Yes, the doubts are trying to settle back in. Was it the course? Did I just have a good day? Is that the best that I can possibly do? Will it ever happen again? It's almost like I need to sign up for another marathon right away while it is still fresh in my mind. In all honesty, I am looking towards Boston, 2015. I don't think it's going to happen for me in 2014. I am sure it is going to be a lot harder to get into Boston, 2014 even with a qualifying time based on what I have been reading.

After thinking it through, there are still lots of things that I need to improve on before I attempt another step towards that elusive BQ. I need to train even harder and I would not say that I have completely owned those last 6.2 miles quite yet. I still struggle in the end but I have improved a heck of a lot since my past two marathons. I think the last 10K of my third marathon is what I am most happy about. I was comparing my pace during the last 6 miles of the three marathons that I have completed and it was kind of embarrassing how I completely died in the first two. I gotta work on that!
I have some other marathons in mind but have not signed up for any as of yet. There are so many marathons that I want to run but I have to find the right one. I usually go race crazy on National Running Day with all of the discounts that are offered so hopefully I don't pull the trigger too soon! I really want to try some out of state races but I am hoping to get one more local marathon in by the end of the year to keep me familiar with the distance.
So what are my goals for June?

1.  Get back into running and stay in "marathon ready shape."

2. Continue to run 25-30+ miles per week. Starting next week since this week is a easy, get back into it week.

3. Train a little bit harder and make every mile count towards my goal!

What are your goals for June?

Do you have plans to run a marathon this year? Which one?
I am looking for an easy course to get closer to that BQ! Does an easy course even exist?? Probably not!

Jun 1, 2013

Hello June and what I am looking forward to this month..

May came and went so quickly! I think I kind of lost track of May since I had my big race at the end of the month and was really focused. I love the summer months because my son will be on summer vacation in a couple of weeks and we may take some fun trips but June is not a good month for running. That is the part that I do not like. The summer heat is brutal here in California and makes training and running races a pain in the butt!
May was a low mileage month for me since I was tapering for my marathon and for the last week of the month I did not run to allow my body to rest and recover. I know that recovery is an important part of the whole running a marathon process and I don't want to risk an injury either. 

So what else am I looking forward to in June? 

1. I am looking forward to my graduation ceremony on June 16th. Getting my Master's degree is quite an accomplishment for me since I never ever thought I would even go back to school let alone do it while working a full-time job. The graduation ceremony falls on Father's Day this year so I am also looking forward to seeing my Dad and spending the day with him.
2. My niece will be visiting from South Carolina and will be arriving in California on June 11th. We have some fun stuff planned for her. We really want to take her to Disneyland since she has not been to Cars Land yet. By the way, Disneyland is raising their prices again tomorrow!
3. I am also looking forward to getting back to running and maybe picking things up a little bit. As I have unexpectedly gotten closer to that BQ, it makes me want to work for it that much harder. I am also itching to run another marathon but I am not sure when or where. I want to keep my body and mind familiar with the distance and I might just run another as a training run. I have never done that before but I am glad that I am feeling more gutsy when it comes to 26.2 miles! Prior to this last one, I was scared to death to take it on again.

Tell me about your month of May? Any big plans for June?