Oct 31, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Happy Halloween! My son is going to be Ironman this year and please do not ask how he squeezed into that costume! 

Sugar is going to be the Security Guard of the house since she does not take well to unfamiliar people. This costume fits her perfectly and was only $2.47 at Petsmart! DEAL!

2. I signed up for Pile on the Miles for the month of November over at Run Eat Repeat. If you haven't signed up yet, you should because you have a chance to win some pretty nice prizes and it keeps you accountable! My goal is to run 125 miles in the month of November.
Pile on the Miles 2013

3. I thought I was done signing up for races for 2013 but I am thinking about running this local Turkey Trot 5K. It is one of those small races that all of the fast people show up for so it is hard to place even though it is a small race. I ran it in 2012 and ended up placing 4th in AG.

Who else is participating in Pile on the Miles 2013?
What is your goal?

Any plans for running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving?
I like to run Turkey Trots so that I can feel better about all of the food that I will be eating on Thanksgiving Day!

Oct 27, 2013

Weekly Update: 10/21/13 to 10/27/13

I have been telling myself that I am going to take it easy for a couple of weeks and I think I have been a very good listener! I have just been feeling like I kind of need a break and I want to be well rested and refreshed before I start training for the LA Marathon in a few weeks. I also have Ragnar Las Vegas coming up in less than two weeks. I don't have very many miles (11.7 Miles to be exact) so my legs are manageable. I have the Surfer's Point Half Marathon the week following Ragnar Las Vegas so I did not want to over-commit and end up injured for over doing it.

Here is how my week turned out:


Tuesday REST

Wednesday7 Miles@ 9:01 pace on the treadmill. It was one of those days that I had to drag myself to the gym! I am trying to keep my other half on track for the half marathon we are running in a few weeks so he kind of motivates me to show up.


Friday: 7.5 Miles @9:21 pace with my other half. The weather was perfect! It was 55 degrees, overcast and drizzly. I kept thinking to myself that this weather would be perfect for a marathon. I actually wore a long sleeved shirt for the first time in forever. I was feeling kind of blah the first 4 miles and finally started feeling it the last 3.5 miles.
Sunday: 11 Miles @9:33 pace with my other half. I think he is ready for the half marathon. He actually says a few word to me when we run now. He is always so serious and hardly ever says anything to me except "I  have to pee!"


My plan is get back into some 8:XX pace miles this week. I have been enjoying the easy paced miles these past couple of weeks because sometimes it just feels good to take it easy and give your body a break.

So how was your week? Have you added any races to your calendar?
I have been thinking about it. I really want to run a race on my birthday!

Oct 24, 2013

Call Me Crazy!

I have always wanted to run some type of race on my birthday but it never seems to work out that way. My birthday is in September and I usually run the Disneyland Half Marathon every year. It has never fallen on my birthday and this year the race will be held on August 31st. The tradition of running the Disneyland Half Marathon since 2010 will most likely be broken this year because I found a local race that will be held on my birthday!
The Ventura Marathon will be held on September 7th, 2014. The race director thinks I am kind of crazy but so do a lot of other people! Registration opens on October 28th so I think I am going to ahead and sign up for the full marathon. The full is $70.00 and the half is $50.00. I might decide to drop down to the half marathon depending on how my year goes. I think it safer to sign up for the full since lots of runners registered for this race at the last minute this year as a final attempt at a BQ for Boston, 2014.
I am also thinking that this race might be my last and final attempt at a BQ for Boston, 2015. I am hoping that I meet my goal of running a BQ in May, 2014 but you never know how a race is going to pan out no matter how hard you train. Wouldn't it be the best birthday ever if I actually gave myself a BQ for my birthday?

Have you ever ran a race on your birthday?

Oct 21, 2013

Three Reasons Why November is Going to be Really Exciting!

1. I feel like I am kind of pushing it here in terms of races but how do you pass up a great opportunity to run with a friend on a team that is sponsored by two great companies (Nuun and Pro Compression?) I will answer that for you...YOU DON'T! My friend Caroline asked me if I would be interested in running Ragnar Las Vegas with her and I didn't have to think twice about it! The only problem is that we will be flying out of town on my wedding anniversary so I kind of had to ask for permission! My other half gave me his blessing and the rest is history! So on November 7th, I will be leaving on a plane to Las Vegas with Caroline since we are practically neighbors! We will be in Van #1 together so I am excited about that too. I am also excited to meet some other ladies who I know from their blogs but have never met in person. I guess I will be overdosing on Watermelon Nuun and losing sleep in Sin City in just a few weeks!
2. About a week after Ragnar Las Vegas, on November 17th, I will be running the Surfer's Point Half Marathon with my other half. This will be "our first half marathon" as a team. It will be his first and #14 for me. I am really excited about it. I love running in Ventura and I am excited to see him take on this challenge. As of now we have no goals for this race. He doesn't care about time and just wants to finish the race and take it all in. 
3. I will start training for the LA Marathon the week of the Surfer's Point Marathon. I will be using this half marathon as my first long run of my training. I think I am going to use the LA Marathon as a trial run for a BQ to see how close I can come to a qualifying time of 3:45! Just the thought of it makes me nervous but I think it will give me a good idea of where I stand and what my chances of a BQ race in May might be. I can never be confident enough when it comes to the marathon because it is such a humbling experience.

Anything exciting happening for you in November? Please Share!

Oct 20, 2013

Weekly Update (10/14/13 to 10/20/13)

This week involved a lot of rest and recovery. I usually like to take at least 5-7 days off after a marathon to allow my body top completely recover and to avoid injury. I promised myself to hold off until I was pain free before I started getting back into my running. After my marathon last Sunday, I was sore for about four days and I was sore every where! I guess I can contribute the pain to the pace that I ran those first 20 miles! I was pain free on Friday but waited until Saturday to go for a run. 

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 6.11 Miles on the recumbent bike to loosen up my legs. I was kind of jealous of all of the runners on the treadmills but I knew I had to take it easy.
Wednesday: REST

Thursday: REST

Friday: My friend treated me to a massage and it was pretty amazing! I can get used to that. I think all future marathons will include massages to reward myself!
Saturday: I went for a 10 mile group run @9:58 pace with the girls and my other half. Even though the pace was easy it was a little tough. I somehow dropped my GU without realizing it so I was a little low on energy.
 I put my legs in my friends pool after our run and it felt amazing! 
Sunday: REST

I am hoping to get back into my usual routine this coming week. I plan on scaling back my mileage for the next couple of weeks until the week of my upcoming half marathon which will also be my first week of training for the LA Marathon! I am pretty excited to start training for another marathon!

How was your week in running? Did you race or go for a long run?

Oct 16, 2013

10/13/13: The Long Beach Marathon (Take Two)

Where should I start? I am finally over the "what if's" had this race gone better than it did. I know I ran a strong race and that I am capable of more than I sometimes want to give myself credit for. This marathon included the strongest 21 miles that I have ever ran in a marathon. Everything seemed to be aligning including the weather. It was cooler than I thought it would be so I think that may be a reason why I felt so great those first 21 miles of the race!
I only slept four hours because I was so nervous. Marathons will always make me nervous no matter how many I run make but this time I was super nervous. I laid out all of my race stuff the night before so I would be ready to go when my alarm went off at 4:15am. I had such a low bib number so lots of runners kept asking me if I was an elite runner! Too funny....if only they knew how non-elite I really am!!
My friend who lost her husband came with us to the race to support me. I was excited that I was able to get her out of the house and we had a good time. We laughed like the old times before her husband took his life so it was nice to see her smile again. We had dinner together and she was so grateful that I invited her to come along since her house really depresses her at times with all of memories it holds of her late husband. She has kind of lost her running mojo lately so I was excited when she signed up for a half marathon at the Expo. Progress is a big thing for her right now! I decided to dedicate my fourth marathon to her husband because he was always so supportive and encouraged me to reach for my dreams.

The Race:
The race was delayed by almost a half hour due to safety clearance or something like that but safety first, right? I was a little bummed because I was hoping to finish without having to spend too much time in the sun. That did not happen but it was still cool enough to run a decent race.
I started right with the four hour pacer and spotted Nicole and her brother Joe, who was running his first marathon, and wished them good luck. I kept thinking that if the weather stays cool I just might be able to run this course in under 4 hours. I was off and running and I don't think I ever ran with the 4 hour group or saw them on the course again. I can usually tell by the first three miles of a marathon how my race is going to turn out. I was feeling great the first three miles and just kind of went with it but reminded myself to be smart.

Mile 1: 8:32
Mile 2:8:22
Mile 3:8:20

I did not want my Garmin to distract me from my race by staring at it the entire time because that makes me feel very nervous! I continued to run by how I felt, occasionally glancing at my watch to make sure that I was not going too fast. 

Mile 4: 8:27
Mile 5: 8:27 (GU)
Mile 6: 8:22
Mile 7: 8:26
Mile 8: 8:21

Before I knew it I was closing in on the 3:45 pacer but I just kept a safe distance. I was not feeling confident enough to run a 3:45 on this particular course. It was at this point in the race that I was thinking that I would continue at this pace and hang on until it started to get tough. Things continued to go well and by the way I did end up wearing my hydration belt like I said I wouldn't. I didn't use my handheld water bottle because I forgot the little clips to my iFitness belt that holds my bib on and I needed it to carry my phone and GU's. I was just too nervous to rely on the water on the course even though there was plenty of it.

Mile 9: 8:26
Mile 10: 8:26 (GU)
Mile 11: 8:25
Mile 12: 8:31
Mile 13: 8:26

I was still feeling pretty good at the half way point and it was at this point that I decided that maybe I could meet my most optimistic goal of all which was to PR! I also knew that the most difficult miles of the course were coming up soon and I was going to see my pace drop significantly.

Mile 14: 8:26
Mile 15: 8:33 (Gu)
Mile 16: 8:26

Miles 17-20 are the toughest miles of the course for me. The course takes you into Cal State Long Beach and it is nothing but hills in there! It was pretty tough so I slowed it down on the uphill and tried to gain some time back when the course flattened out. I did much better this year and I didn't die or hit the wall!

Mile 17: 8:27
Mile 18: 8:56
Mile 19:8:25
Mile 20:8:50(GU)

Around Mile 19ish my race took a different turn. I ran through some water on the course with what felt like sand and I almost slipped and over extended my right leg and felt a pain in the back of my leg. Little by little the pain became worse to the point where I had to slow down considerably. I stopped and stretched it out around Mile 22 per the instructions of Monica who happened to run past me as I was hobbling along in pain. By Mile 23 I could not run for long at all without it hurting or tightening up so it was a run/walk effort from Mile 23-25 but I did not give up! 

Mile 21: 8:42
Mile 22: 9:26
Mile 23: 10:04 (GU)
Mile 24: 10:26
Mile 25: 10:17

It was at this point that I knew that my race was headed in another direction. I wasn't sure what was the best thing to do. I thought about quitting or just walking to the Finish but I just could not let myself do it. I completely fell apart at this point because I was not sure what was going on with my leg and what might happen if I kept on going. At Mile 25, I saw my friend Meg who I have known for a while through the blog world! She came up to me and we started talking and she ran with me for about a mile. I felt better just seeing a familiar face and I was able to brave through it and make it to the Finish. THANK YOU MEG! YOU SAVED ME!
Mile 26: 9:31
.48=8:48 (I guess I did not do very well running the tangents either!)

My goals for this race were to beat my 2011 course time of 4:05:35 (CHECK.). I actually beat my course time by 13 minutes and 20 seconds! My second and more optimistic goal was to finish the race in under 4 hours (CHECK.) This was not a PR for me but this is just one of those courses that will probably never get me a PR or a BQ! It just doesn't love me!
I finished Marathon #4 in 3:52:15 and finally earned my Beach Cities Challenge medal! Sarah was handing out the BCC medals and it was nice to see her out there volunteering. I can remember when I thought that I would never be able to run a sub-four marathon so I have convinced myself that 3:52 is a decent time for me considering that it did do lots of walking! I told Long Beach that I would be back to get revenge and my sub-four finish and I know I ran a much stronger race than I did two years ago. No excuses for a bad race so I will just suck this one up and pay attention to where I am running in the future and accept the fact that not every race is going to be a perfect one and realize that CACA HAPPENS!
This makes race #12 of my quest to run 13 races in 2013 and my second best marathon time. I have been taking it easy because I was hurting everywhere and I am also hoping that my hamstring pain is just a temporary thing that rest will take care of. I am not ready to use the dreaded "I" word yet! I am hoping to get a run in at the end of the week if I am able. Until then, I will be doing lots of icing and this....

 Next up...Ragnar Las Vegas, sponsored by Nuun and Pro Compression, with my friend Caroline and 10 other ladies that I cannot wait to meet!

Oct 13, 2013

Weekly Update (10/07/13 to 10/13/13)

What a week! I had to work on Friday so it was a long week, I only work one Friday a month so when I do have to work it feels like the week is super long. I  can't complain though because I have a great job and work with some great people! I am BLESSED! This week was pretty easy up until Sunday when I took on the Long Beach Marathon. Other than the marathon here is what my week of workouts looked like:

MondayREST DAY-I have had way too much Rest Days lately but with the way I have been feeling they have been much needed and appreciated by my body. You gotta listen to your body so I am getting better at that every single day.
Tuesday5.12 Mile night run @8:06 pace.  The weather was cool and a little breezy but it felt good to be able to run outside after work instead of jumping on the treadmill.

Wednesday: REST DAY
Thursday: 5.20 Miles on the treadmill @9:38 pace. This was my last and final run for this training cycle before marathon #4 and it felt great to have completed 15 weeks of training injury free! That has not happened in a long time so I am feeling very grateful and blessed!

Friday: REST DAY

Saturday: REST DAY 
Sunday: 26.48 Miles (Long Beach Marathon) @8:47 pace (3:52:15). Race Recap coming soon....


The next few days will consist of some much needed rest, recovery and foam rolling. I am pretty excited about my other half's first half marathon which is coming up really soon so I need to back into things as soon as  I can!

How much time do you take off to recover after a marathon or big race?

Oct 8, 2013

It's Race Week: My Final Thoughts Before the Long Beach Marathon

My honest thoughts...the marathon is a beast that never gets easy for me. Some marathons have been better than others but the distance will always be difficult for me to conquer. It never gets easy for me nor does it ever feel easier no matter how many times I attempt it. I have a love/hate relationship with the marathon but I think I love it more than I hate it!

I have not been feeling 100% for the last couple of weeks. I am not quite sure what is going on and my doctor advised me that running this marathon may not be the best idea. I kind of agree with him but then I don't. The problems that I have been experiencing do not occur while I am running but sometimes after a run. I have made the decision to run this marathon with the promise to pull out if I don't feel 100%. It will be tough to put a DNF on the books but if I have to do it, I will.
My training has been pretty solid and I have trained for a full 15 weeks. Week 11 kind of fell apart due to the death of a close friend but I was able to get back on track. I don't want to throw all of this training away so even if this race turns into a PW I think it is worth it to me.

If all goes well, my goal for this race is to beat my 2011 time of 4:05:35 when I ran this marathon for the first time. Best case I would love to run a sub-four because even though I have already ran a sub-four marathon I don't think it comes very easy for me. I am not looking to BQ or anything spectacular like that because the course is not one that I would chose for a BQ. It is a great course by the beach but there are a couple things that I really don't like about the course. Most of the course loops… meaning you go through a street, then you turn around and then you run it back, so most of the time you run against the people running ahead and behind of you. Clocks are also non-existent on this course so you are forced to really babysit the Garmin which I am trying to get better at not doing. I just want to run a smart race and if I do, I think I can live with whatever time it takes me to finish. Every race cannot and will not be a PR as much as I would like it to be!!

I am thinking about running with a pacer to see how I like it. I usually like to run my own race so that I can be under control but since this is a just a training run (if you will) this might be a good time to experiment with a few things. I am also considering running without my running belt and just carrying a hand held that I can refill at the water stops. I used to hate carrying the handheld but have actually trained myself to do it on shorter runs. I am not sure if I can commit to this or not since the thought of a water shortage on the course is one of my worst nightmares. I have never heard of this happening on this race but again I don't want to be stressed about things that I have control over.

So there you have it:

1) Beat 4:05:35, or sub four if I have it in me!

2) Ditch the hydration belt and carry the handheld!

3)  Run a smart race which may mean pulling out if I am not feeling good.

Most of all, I am excited about crossing the finish line and getting my marathon medal from this sweet friend of mine who is volunteering at the race and also finally getting my hands on my Beach Cities Challenge medal.

Who else is racing this week? What distance?

Oct 6, 2013

Weekly Update (9/30/13 to 10/06/13) and One Week Until #4!

One more week until Marathon #4 and I have not been feeling so great this week. Perfect! I went to the doctor and found out that my blood pressure is lower than normal which explains why I have been feeling kind of light-headed lately. Hopefully this won't stop me from toeing that Start line in a week but I have to do what is best for me. My doctor has suggested that I do not run the full marathon but I will make that decision next week based on how I feel. Fingers crossed!!!


Tuesday: 6.21 Miles on the treadmill @9:39 pace. I needed a break since I had not been feeling so great. 

Wednesday: REST DAY

Thursday REST DAY-Had dinner with my friend and she is doing so much better! I felt so good driving home knowing that she had made some huge progress in the last week!

Friday: 10.52 Miles@9:33 pace. This was my other half's long run so I tagged along and it was a great one. We ran some hills and he was pretty pooped and ended up with sore calves the next day. Sorry Honey but you said you wanted to run some hills!

Saturday: REST DAY

Sunday: 8.30 Miles@8:16 pace. The weather was a perfect 57 degrees and I just ran by feel.

I am planning on running two short and easy runs next week and then it is showtime! The weather looks decent and it better stay that way!

Does tapering drive you crazy?
It makes me feel like I am going to lose all of my training but I know it is part of the plan!

Oct 2, 2013

September Recap

I am starting to get excited as the months fly by because I love Christmas! I can't believe that Costco already has their Christmas stuff out. I usually like to take it easy at the end of the year approaches but I kind of have a feeling that is not going to go down like that. I have a marathon in less than two weeks and a half marathon with my other half a month after that. I usually run a race for fun in the month of December but I haven't registered for anything yet. Some of my friends are running the Divas Half Marathon which looks like a lot of fun so I might just allow them to talk me into it. 

So what went down in September? 

1. I had a birthday but we won't do any number analysis on that topic! 

2. I ran 127 miles in September which is about average for me. September mileage was much less than August but I am still going to call it a good month. It was solid and I had some great runs. I have been trying to keep my weekly mileage between 30-35 miles and I have been able to stick with it. I am always excited when my long runs go well and those have been pretty solid.

3. I also ran a half marathon in 80 degree heat but it was at the Happiest Place on Earth so I guess I can't complain!

 What are my plans for October?
I don't have any big plans for October except to survive the Long Beach Marathon on October 13th. I can't wait to start stalking the weather on Friday when the 10-Day Forecast will be available! I am hoping to be able to take it easy the week after this race. I think I owe it to my body to give it a break especially after 26.2 miles!

How was your September?

There are so many marathons coming up in October. Anybody running Chicago? BayState? MCM?

Oct 1, 2013

I'm Registered!

I registered for the LA Marathon today! This is a race that I have been wanting to run for quite some time. I have heard so many great things about the course and the crowd support especially the nice downhill finish!The race starts at Dodger Stadium and ends at the Santa Monica Pier and takes the runners through lots of landmarks along the way. I registered for the race back in 2011 but due to a hamstring injury it was DNS#3! Instead of running the marathon, I laid in my bed and had a pity party while I watched it on TV! That was a really tough year for me. Let's change the subject...

The purpose of running this marathon is to keep me on track for my goal BQ race in May, 2014. I will also use this race to experiment with any new things that I might want to try our before race day. I have been trying to convince my other half to run the LA marathon with me but he said "NO WAY." I am hoping that he will change his mind after he runs his half marathon in November. Once he realizes he can run a half marathon, maybe the crazy thoughts of running a full marathon will enter his mind!

So on March 9, 2014 this is where I will be along with 20,000+ runners! There has been some crazy weather conditions in past years so I hope we all get lucky in 2014!

Anybody else running the LA Marathon next year?