Jul 29, 2013

Guess Who Is Training for a Half Marathon?

Back in April someone ran his first 5K and then he ran another one in June and I think he has now caught the running bug. Last week was Week One of training for his first half marathon. Yes, you heard me right. My other half has committed to running a half marathon on November 17, 2013. We will be running it together and I will be there to support him all the way to the finish line.
We will be running the inaugural Surfers Point Half Marathon in Ventura, CA. I couldn't help but run it with him since early bird registration is only $35.00 until August 1st. The course is pretty flat and it is by the beach so I think he will enjoy it. I pieced together a half marathon training plan for him and now it's up to him to make it happen. 

He is a little nervous about it but I know that as soon as he starts to build up his mileage he will feel more and more confident about it. The furthest distance that he has ran to date is 5.15 miles so he does have some work to do! I did make him promise me one thing...not to interfere with my training time. HA! We ran 5 miles together on Sunday at an easy pace and he finished his first week with 13 miles. That is the most mileage that he has ever attempted in a single week!

Hopefully he sticks with it and we will be crossing the Finish Line together on November 17th! 

  Do you run races with your significant other?
This will be our first race togther.
Do you train together?
 We will run some of our runs together but not all of them since I am currently training for some other distances.

Jul 28, 2013

My Weekly Running Report-7/22/13-7/28/13

I think we kind of got a break from the heat this week. I mean mid 80's t low 90's is much better than 95-100 degrees!
I was a little concerned about running this week because I stepped on a rock and my heel has been pretty sore for the last week. It does not hurt a lot when I run but I notice that when I first step out of my bed in the morning it hurts the most. Having said that here is how things went this week.

Monday: REST DAY- I really needed  a rest since I did not sleep in at all last week. I think I was up by 5:30 am every day last week and I was feeling it. My body was screaming at me to give it a break so I did by doing absolutely nothing except for a few push ups with my son.

Tuesday: 7 Miles @8:25 pace

Wednesday: Cross Training Day: 40 minutes on the bike trainer

Thursday: 6.64 Miles (One Hour Easy) @9:02 pace

Friday: Another REST DAY since I was running a 5K the next day.

Saturday: 3.12 Miles@ 7:41 pace (City of Cypress 5K)

Sunday: 6.50 Miles @10:08 pace. I ran the first 5.15 miles with my other half and the last mile or so on my own. I was pretty disappointed about my less than stellar performance at my 5K so I skipped my long run. I just wasn't in the mood and my mind wasn't it in. I needed a break and the easy miles felt nice. 

TOTAL MILES: 23.26 Miles
I am going to make next week a better week. So many things happened this week that just kind of killed my spirit and made me sad. They are not related to running but just other family stuff that distracted me from staying on track with my life in general. I know that I need to get back into it a positive state of mind. That will be my goal for the week.

How was your week? 
Hopefully it was much better than mine :)

Jul 27, 2013

7/27/13: City of Cypress 5K

I don't care what anyone says. 5K's are tough! They are tough for me because I really push myself thinking that it is just 3.1 miles. It had been over a year since I last ran a 5K so I was a little nervous going into this race. I had no goal going into this race except to do my best since my focus has been on improving my endurance and no real commitment to speed work.

This is a small race (5K and 10K only) but it was well organized. My friend Caroline suggested that I line up in the front since the race tends to be congested in the beginning and there are lots of strollers and walkers throughout the course. The course was very flat and fast but the temperature was about 70 degrees at the start which was no bueno! 
I also liked that bib pick up was available the day before the race as well as the morning of the race. I arrived about an hour before the start time and it was not crowded at all. Parking was close to the start and there was no problem getting in or out of the parking lot. I was able to pick up my bib in less than 5 minutes and had time to go back to my car, put my sunscreen on and use the bathroom.
They had real bathrooms as well as porta-potties. The lines at the real bathrooms got longer as the start time approached but the porta-pottie lines did not.
There was plenty of water and snacks such as bagels, bananas and popsicles after the race. I was not able to enjoy my popsicle because someone else wanted it more than I did. My son has the habit of taking all of my snacks after a race and I end up with nothing but water.

Now onto the race....I debated about actually running this 5K because I went to a church function with family the night before and ate way too late and I didn't get to bed until way past midnight. We laughed about how my race might go the next morning and apparently it was not a joke. I also woke up several times in the night feeling thirsty and I think I even had a nightmare! My alarm went off at 5am and I decided that I should go and make the best of it in spite of feeling super tired since I paid for it!

The race started out on the wrong foot because I broke the "don't go out too fast rule." I didn't do it on purpose but I didn't glance at my Garmin until the first turn (about a half mile into the race) and it read 6:35. "Hello...you can't hang at that pace so you better slow it down!" I immediately took it way down and settled into a 7:15-7:20 pace. 
Mile 1: 7:16

As I approached the last half of Mile 2, I started to feel a pain in my left side. I tried to push through it by holding my side but it didn't help much. I slowed it down a little more to about a 7:30 pace to see if that would help but it got worse and I had to stop. Yes, I stopped! I was absolutely hating myself for stopping but I had to or else I would not have made it to the Finish Line. 
Mile 2: 7:32

The last mile really sucked and I just tried to finish the damn race. I thought that maybe I had not hydrated properly and that was why I was feeling the side ache. I drank more water and that made it even worse! I never experienced a side ache before so I have to figure out what I did that brought it on. In any case, I kind of gave up mentally and that just sealed the deal. I didn't care anymore and when I saw the clock at almost 24 minutes I just wanted to forget that I even showed up! 
Mile 3: 8:16
Official Time: 23:57

5th in AG

I know that every race will not be perfect or result in a PR. I just wanted to do my best and know I did not so it was a disappointing race. This was my 9th race towards my goal of 13 races in 2013. I have a long run in the plan tomorrow so hopefully it will be a better day.

Jul 25, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. My grandma is 85 years old and is still in great shape both mentally and physically. Her license was up for renewal and she took her test yesterday and she passed. She has been studying really hard and I am so glad that she passed. She needs her freedom now that my grandpa is gone. I know that she is getting up there in age but I am confident in her driving abilities and will definitely take her off of the road when the time comes.
2. I usually keep my flip-flips in my car right near my feet so I can take my work shoes off and get comfy when I drive. Yesterday as I was getting out of my car to grab my favorite sandwich from Subway (Oven Roasted Chicken) I realized that I had two different shoes on and had to go back to my car to fix the problem.
3. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you probably already saw this but I am going to share it this last time. We went to the beach last Sunday and some people left there food unattended for a long period of time and this is what happened to it. There was no stopping these guys and they were pretty quick to eat these chips right up!

Jul 21, 2013

Weekly Recap (7/15/13-7/21/13) and My Favorite Treadmill!

The weather is still incredibly hot and we did not catch a break this week. Planning my long runs around this heat has been difficult to say the least. As soon as I plan my week out, I realize that I have scheduled my long run on the hottest day of the weekend.
Monday: Push Ups (4 X 10) and a 1:30 plank. My son loves to do push ups and planks so I have been doing them with him. He is getting better at both!
Tuesday: 8 Mile Tempo Run on TM@8:28 pace (Miles 1-3@9:00, Miles 4-7@8:19 and Mile 8@7:50. I have been getting really bored on the treadmill lately so changing the speed around kind of makes me feel like the run goes by quicker. I also found the coolest treadmill in the gym which gets the best air flow from the AC vent! It is now my favorite treadmill but it faces the mirror. I have to stare at myself and all of the people behind me for at least an hour!
Wednesday: 35 minutes on the bike trainer:  My goal is to add five minutes to my time every week until I am up to 45 minutes. 

Thursday: 7 Miles on TM@7.56 pace (Mile 1@8:45 Miles 2-3@8:00 Miles 4-6@7:47 and Mile 7@7:27) followed by a nice cold chocolate milk! That is my favorite drink after a good run!
Friday: REST DAY-It was definitely needed after a long week. I went to visit my Grandma after work to take her new glasses to her and to help her study for her written driving test. She has been studying hard and when I quizzed her she got all of the answers right! She is 85 years old and is still pretty sharp and driving is still safe for her.

Saturday: 35 sweaty minutes on the bike trainer

Sunday: 15 Miles@8:54 pace. This weeks long run was much easier with less miles. It felt good to slow things down a bit. Next week will be another 20 miler in the form of a "Fast Finish Long Run" where I will attempt to push the pace in the end of the run. I love these runs because they boost my confidence when they go as as planned. I am hoping that the weather is in my favor!

Total Miles: 30

Next Saturday I will be running a 5K. I am excited but nervous all at the same time. My current running goal for a 5K is to run it in under 23 minutes. I am 18 seconds away from meeting this goal. Should I just go for it?

Do you have a favorite treadmill at the gym? 
If my favorite treadmill is busy I sometimes wait for it. If I am short on time, I find another machine but keep watching to see if the person finishes!

What is your favorite drink after a good run?

Jul 18, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I have the sweetest son in the world. At times he drives me crazy but for the most part the kid has a huge heart. He spent the night at Grandma's and came home with this stuff more me to keep on my desk at work. He know how much I love cupcakes but I am not sure what the high heel is all about. I am not a fan but I think I mentioned to him that I thought this tape dispenser was cute.
2. I have to work five days this week and I am bummed to put it mildly! The thought of getting up early for five days straight is making me tired! I know that I have to be thankful that I have a job so I will stop whining about this now!
3. I have 15 miles planned for Sunday and the weather forecast is looking very interesting. I can't run on Saturday because I have other stuff on the agenda but it looks like it is a good week for a long and steady run. 70 degrees to start...I am getting excited already!

Jul 15, 2013

Experimenting With New Things

I forgot to mention this last week but I tried something new on my long run. The weather has been so hot so I was looking for a new way to beat the heat and stay hydrated. I normally run with my Amphipod belt and 2-4 of the 10.5 ounce water bottles and then make periodic stops at fast food restaurants to refill my bottles if needed.
This means that I have to plan my routes around these places and sometimes I get strange looks when I enter these places all sweaty and wet! I really like the belt and I am used to it. I know lots of runners don't like the belt but it doesn't bother me at all. My iPhone and my GU fit perfectly into the pockets but my water does not stay cold for very long. I was looking for a way to carry enough water with me so that I would not have to stop and fill my bottles. I decided to experiment with something new and gave this hydration vest a try during my 18 mile run last week.  I don't think I am a fan. 
PROS: I loved the way the fit of the vest and I loved the front pockets. This particular Nathan hydration race vest fit me perfectly and was really comfortable. The front pockets fit my iPhone and my GU perfectly and it was way easier to access them than with the belt. 

CONS: I did encounter a few problems though. I did not like the weight of the pack on my back and the sound of the water moving around while I was running. I also felt like I was not able to get enough water out of the tube when I needed it. I guess I am used to the squeeze bottles especially when I am swallowing my GU. Gulping down my GU with the water tube was a bit difficult for me. I also finished my run with a little sore on the middle of my lower back from the backpack rubbing. I could feel it burning while I was running and kept adjusting it. I could not find my Body Glide that morning so maybe that would have played out differently had I applied it. My biggest issue was not being able to pour water over my head to keep myself cool during my run. I do this quite often and it is a must for me. Maybe I just need to get used to the vest or was I not using it properly?

So for now, I have decided to stick with the old hydration belt that I have always used and possibly use the vest for some other purpose.  I paid $100 for the hydration vest so I think I better take up trail running or hiking now that I own one.

Your Turn:

1) How do you stay hydrated on your long runs especially on hot days?

2) Do you run with a hydration pack/vest or hydration belt? I am interested in hearing your opinions (pros/cons) of both.

Jul 14, 2013

Weekly Recap (7/8/13-7/14/13) and My Plan for Selecting a Marathon

This week we caught a small break from the heat and even got a little bit of rain. It was still humid out there so my runs were confined to the indoors again but my long run was done outdoors of course. This week I pushed myself a little bit on my shorter runs to get myself ready to push the pace in my upcoming 5k on July 27th. I definitely forgot what a 7:30 pace feels like..yikes! My quads are definitely getting a run for their money on my cross training days. I can really feel it but I like it!

Monday: Cross Trained at the Hotel Fitness Center: 30 minutes on bike
Tuesday: 7.2 Mile Tempo on TM@8:21 pace

Wednesday: Push ups (3 sets of 10) and a crappy plank (1:10). I need some work in both of these areas! It has been a while!

Thursday: 7.5 Miles on TM@8:29 pace

Friday: REST DAY

Saturday: 20 Miles@8:28 pace. This was a tough run for me! I kept the first 7 miles easy and then I pushed myself the last 13 miles. I avoid obsessively looking at my Garmin and just try to run by effort. I know that I will never make it to Boston if I don't step out of my comfort zone to see what I am capable of. Boy was I was feeling it after this run. I was wiped out for the rest of the day and my legs were feeling it too. They were fine the next morning with no soreness or pain. Next week I will take it down to 15 miles and slow the pace way down.
Sunday: Cross Training Day: 30 minutes on the bike trainer


Now about that marathon...This week I will try to decide on my next marathon or whether or not I will even run one this year. I am not looking to BQ this year since I cannot run a time that will guarantee me a spot for Boston, 2014. I am really looking to run some courses that I think are optimal for qualifying for Boston in 2015. I would rather run the course to familiarize myself and then decide which one is best to attempt a BQ. I am kind of nervous to just show up and blindly attempt it. I am weird like that. I want to know what I am getting myself into and I think I will be more confident if I am familiar with the course. I am almost 100% sure that I will run the Mountains 2 Beach marathon again in May, 2014. I think I have a good chance to BQ there if I train properly. I like the course and I know what to expect.

How was your week?

 How many miles was your longest run?

Jul 10, 2013

Adding to the Race Calendar

I was looking at my Upcoming Races and thought that it was looking pretty empty so guess what I did? I signed up for two more race! I haven't made a decision on a marathon yet but I plan to after I get a solid 20 miler in the books. I have been itching to run a 5K ever since I spectated the Pasadena 5K a couple of weeks ago. The combination of  zero speed work and the summer heat will most likely result in a non-PR but I want to do it anyway just to see where I am at in the 5K department. The course is pretty flat but I don't do well in the heat period so my expectations are pretty low. The Cypress 5K is a local race (anything that does not require a hotel stay is considered local to me) that is pretty cheap so it is hard to pass it up. They also offer bib pick up the morning of the race so I like having that option to so that I don't have to make a double trip since it is a 40 mile drive.
I also committed to running So Cal Ragnar again with the same group that I ran it with this past April.  A few of the runners were not able to commit so we are adding a few new faces to the team next year. We registered early to take advantage of the lower pricing so there is no turning back now! It will be fun and our team will again be sponsored by our captain's employer who sponsored us last year. They will be paying for the vans and the gas which is a huge help! We are very lucky and blessed!

How is your race calendar looking for the remainder of 2013?

Are you planning to add any big races to close out the year?
Another marathon is still on my mind..I just have to pick one and pull the trigger!

Jul 9, 2013

A Birthday Celebration in Sin City

My son and my other half love visiting Sin City! We usually head to Las Vegas a couple of times a year both in the winter and summer months. The purpose of this trip was to celebrate a birthday.
I enjoy visiting Las Vegas too but the summer heat kind of gets to me. It was 107 degrees the entire weekend. At 10:00 p.m. is was still 102 degrees. We try to beat the heat during the day by staying indoors or hanging out by the pool and then walking the strip at night. My son really enjoys the pool and cannot stop talking about how badly we need a pool of our own. We hung out by the pool for a few hours and it actually started pouring rain for about 10 minutes and a bunch of people picked up their stuff and left. I thought it was refreshing and just laid in my chair and waited for it to end. 
My son also insisted on having that huge drink without alcohol of course. He was embarrassed to drink it because he said everyone was staring at him thinking he was drinking alcohol!

We have seen most of the shows in Las Vegas and this time we decided to see Love by Cirque Du Soleil. The theme was based on the music by the Beatles and it was a great show. My son really enjoyed it and he watched the entire show without talking to us. That is a good sign for him!
I wanted to do two things while I was in Vegas and I was able to do both of them. Of course they both involved food.

1) Eat breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. The portions were huge but we had fun staring at all of the food they brought out to others who were dining in the restaurant. The pancakes were really thick and about the size of a medium pizza. It was way to much food for us so we all shared yet we were not successful in finishing all of it.

2) Buy some cupcakes from Retro Bakery. We had to drive about 20 miles from the strip to get the cupcakes but it was worth it! Our favorites were the hop scotch (their best seller) and the milk and cookies. We have not tried all of them yet and I brought some for my daughter to try too. I promise not to eat the whole dozen by myself.
Have you ever been to Las Vegas? 
What are some of your favorite things to do in Sin City?

Jul 8, 2013

Weekly Recap-7/1/13-7/7/13

This week was a challenge for me as I wanted to get all of my runs out of the way early on in the week since we had plans for the weekend.  I am also excited that I actually started riding my bike this week since I really need to get better with cross training. The weather was still incredibly hot this week so I will be stuck on the treadmill a couple of times a week but my long runs are always done on the road regardless.

Monday: 7  Miles on the TM @8:58 pace

Tuesday: Cross Training Day: 30 minutes on the bike trainer

Wednesday: 7 Miles on the TM @8:58 pace

Thursday: REST DAY

Friday: 18 Miles @8:44 pace. I had a much better run than last week. The weather was about 10 degrees cooler and overcast for the first 7 miles. It warmed up towards the end so I had to bring the pace down in order to finish without feeling too exhausted.

Saturday: REST DAY and ROAD TRIP WITH THE FAMILY TO SIN CITY. I will do a separate post to talk about our trip.



Next week I am planning on a 20 miler if the weather allows for it. I am thinking about heading out to the beach or a much cooler place to get my long run done. It has to be done because I know that until I run a decent 20 miler, I won't commit to another marathon.

How was your week? Are you struggling with the heat like I am?

Jul 2, 2013

Goodbye June and My Plans for July

Aside from the major goals that I have set for 2013, I like to come up with mini goals on a monthly basis. Here are some of the goals that I want to accomplish in the month of July:

1) Start using my bike trainer! My other half set it all up for me so now all I have to do is hop on and get going!

2) Choose a marathon to run! I am all over the place with this one. I see so many posts of different marathons that everyone is running and I want to run all of them. Here are some of the ones that I am seriously considering at this point: 1) Big Cottonwood: I love the course   2) Ventura is local and happens to fall the day after my birthday and 3) Long Beach is local and I really want redemption from 2011. I am not sure what to do! My intial thought was to run a marathon on my birthday but since it falls on a Saturday it is hard to find one.

 3) Cut back on the sweets and treats. I have been loving me some Rice Krispie Treats, cupcakes and chocolate covered raisins and I think it is starting to take it's toll.I would really like to be five pounds lighter before my next marathon but I am not good at dieting and probably never will be. I love to eat!
4) Run more than 140 miles this month. My record miles for a month currently stands at 140 miles.

What are your goals for July?

Jul 1, 2013

Mid Year Status of My 2013 Goals

Back in January, I shared my Goals for 2013 to keep myself accountable. I am happy with my progress at this mid point of 2013 and I am feeling very motivated to continue to work hard to at achieving these goals. I think they are realistic and can be met if I apply myself.

1)  Accomplish Goals 2 (Beach Cities Challenge) and Goal 3 (Sub Four Marathon) from 2012.

Status: Goal 2 from 2o12: I am one race away from getting my Beach Cities Challenge medal in October so I am on track!  Goal 3 from 2012: Achieved! I ran a 3:49:10 Marathon back in May!

2) Stay Injury Free and be a smarter runner!  
Status: This is an on-going goal that I will always strive to meet but I can say that I have been smarter with my running this year. If I feel any kind of pain I take a break and wait until it's gone. I also foam roll, ice and use my Stick after almost every run. I am also better about stretching and warming up during my runs and it has made a big difference.

3) Continue to work towards that BQ. 
Status: This has become my biggest focus. It is really hard not to think about that BQ when it is just 4 minutes and 5 seconds away. I took 16 minutes off of my marathon time so I have made significant progress with this goal. Four minutes is still a lot of time to shave off of a marathon time but I will continue to work at it. I am not giving up yet!

4) Focus on the marathon!  
Status: The marathon remains my focus especially those last 6.2 mile which have I improved this year with my third marathon.
5)  Earn a PR or 2! 
Status: The only distance that I have PR'd this year is the marathon and I am extremely happy with that! I have not been focusing on any other distance this year but have really been focusing on my long runs to improve my marathon time.

6) Run 1200 miles in 2013!
Status: I am on track to accomplish this goal. Here is my mileage from January to June.

How are your 2013 Running Goals coming along? 
If you haven't taken a look at them, now is a good time to check into make sure you stay on track!