Jan 29, 2014

Feeling Lucky!

My luck for winning giveaways has struck again! I won three giveaways this past week which include some Justin's Nut Butter from Marcia's Healthy Slice! Can't wait to eat this right up!
I entered a Hump Day Running Giveaway from Another Mother Runner for two entries to a Zooma Race of my choice. To enter the giveaway all you had to do was tell them who you would take with you and why. I entered with my friend who lost her husband in mind and we won! Her and I will be running Zooma Napa Valley because she loves it there. I had dinner with her on Sunday night and told her that she will be going to Napa with me in June and she was excited. She ran her PR half there a few years back and she celebrated her last wedding anniversary with her husband there as well. The plan is to enjoy the trip and run the race with no pressure and to enjoy the course. I am really excited about it and I hope it brings her some peace and relaxation because she love her wine and there is plenty of it in Napa!

I also find out today from Run with Jess that I won the prize for Week#3 of Winter Miles Challenge. I won a running shirt from Milestones Sports Jewelery & Apparel. It is super cute and I can't wait to wear it! This is the design on the shirt!
In other news, I survived my 20 miler this past weekend and I am looking forward to an easier week. I closed the week with 33 miles and my long run for this week will be 15 miles. I think my body is looking forward to cutting back this week.

How long is your long run this week?
I am feeling sad that I did not register for anything this weekend since the weather is going to be perfect for racing!

Jan 23, 2014

Treadmill Tell-All

Since I am such a big fan of the treadmill (NOT) I thought I would chime in with Marcia over at Marcia's Healthy Slice on her post about treadmill running.

As much as I dislike running on the treadmill it is a necessary evil for me. In California we have really hot summers and if you are not out there at 5:00 am it is going to be a tough run. We don't get much rain here but when we do, the treadmill is always a way for me to get my runs in and stick to my training plan. Working a full-time job also makes it difficult to get a run in before dark so I often have to run on the treadmill on the days that I work. So yes, the treadmill is a must for me!
1. What’s your favorite workout to do on a treadmill? I can't say that I have a favorite workout because I really dislike the dreadmill! I usually do progressive runs or speedwork since it is easier to hold the pace without having to sop for traffic lights when you run outdoors.

2. How many miles, on average, do you run on the mill each week?  I average about 14 miles a week on the treadmill.

3. What was the most mileage you’ve ever completed on the mill in one workout? When? Why?  My record treadmill run is 13.11 miles  back in May, 2013. My friend was injured and was running the OC Half Marathon and since we were going to the race together, I did not want to leave her out on the course alone. I was also training for a big race so I knew that I could not miss my long run so I got it done on the treadmill.

4. Do you mill at home, the gym or both?  I mill at the gym since I don't have a treadmill at home.
5. What distractions or entertainment (if any) do you use to help pass the time? Some of the treadmills at the gym have TV's but they make me dizzy so I cannot watch them. To pass the time, I listen to my music or I just people watch. People watching is probably the best way to pass time since I have some interesting people at my gym to say the least. Some of the regulars are pretty darn entertaining!

6. If you have a treadmill at home, what kind is it? How old is it?   I used to have a treadmill at home but never used it so I sold it. I am the kind of person who will put my run off if the treadmill is in the house so I have to get out the door to get it done. The minute I sold my treadmill I regretted it. Then Pro-Form came out with the Boston Marathon treadmill  and I have been wanting it ever since but simply can't afford it!
7. Do you fuel any differently for a treadmill workout than an outside one? I never GU on the treadmill but probably drink the same amount of water. Sometimes the gym feels warm so I might even drink more.

8. Any treadmill mishaps to report? Thankfully none! I always think about how embarrassing that would be so I am pretty careful.
9. Do you mill at incline to compensate for not being outside? Barely. I set the incline to .5 and that is about it. I have heard that you have to adjust it or else you are running slower than you think you are. Oh well, that's fine with me because I am sweating like a pig when I get off  the mill.

10. Describe your perfect (if there is such an animal) treadmill conditions:I always try to find a machine that is close to the AC vent. I usually have a favorite machine that is in the right place but then they re-arrange the equipment and I am on the hunt again.

Feel free to write your own  "Treadmill Tell-All" post on your blog or share your treadmill love/hate stories with me in the comments! Thank you for the idea Marcia!

Jan 22, 2014

You Have to Read This!

I received this at a conference that I attended last week and I love it. It is so meaningful to me and is so very true! Hope you enjoy it too!
Source: Michael Josephson of the Josephson Institute (www.CharacterCounts.org)

Jan 19, 2014

Miles for Meg and a Birthday Celebration

When bad news strikes the running world it hits home for all of us. It makes me feel so bad that these terrible things happen to people who are doing something that they love. It is just sad that there are so many irresponsible people in this world that make mistakes that change the lives of innocent people. Hopefully everyone was able to get some miles in for Meg this weekend. I was not able to get my miles in until Sunday and I had a great run.
This past week I attended a conference in San Diego so it was hard to get my runs in. I saw lots of runners out there but I did not have the chance to get out there and join them. I was pretty jealous but since I was pretty busy with work stuff I had to get my miles in at the end of the day. The view from my room was amazing. I think I could get used to it!
I ended up on the treadmill most of the week but did manage a couple of runs outdoors. I ended my week with 38 miles and I am pretty happy with that. So far I am at 100 miles for the month. It looks like it's going to be a good month for me.
My son also celebrated his 12th birthday on Saturday so most of my weekend was dedicated to him. He kind of made me promise not to run on Saturday so that I could spend some time with him. He has never asked me to do this before so I agreed to do it. We are going to have a birthday party for him in a couple of weeks since I found a great deal on Groupon for 50% off of a weekend party at his favorite trampoline place! SCORE! We took him out to dinner for his birthday and he invited a friend from school. We had a good time and ate way too much as usual. His sister gave him a bottle of money for his birthday and he was really excited about it! I thought it was such a great gift idea. I think she found it on Pinterest.
LA Marathon is just 7 weeks away and I am definitely not feeling ready. I think I need to get a couple of 20 milers under my belt before my confidence level starts to rise. Next weeks plans include a 20 mile long run. I wish I had somebody to run it with because 20 milers are tough and they kick my %&#@!!!

How was your week?

Anybody run Tinkerbell, Arizona R&R, or Carlsbad this weekend?
I was jealous of all of the runners on Instagram but after running two back to back half marathons I think I am good for now :)

Jan 16, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. I am going to see the Eagles next week! I am super excited and have to see them every time they are on tour. I am a big Eagles fan (I know I am old) but I think everyone loves them some "Hotel California." They are inaugurating at the Forum in Los Angeles which has just been renovated and reopened. The top of the Forum has the world's largest spinning vinyl of "Hotel California" which is turning at 17 mph. Pretty cool if you ask me!

2. My son will be turning 12 years old on Saturday! I cannot believe that he will be a teenager next year! He is a big silly boy and always manages to make us laugh. He has a big heart, is very lovable and I am so glad that I was blessed with such a special kid. 
We have some fun stuff planned for the weekend and we are going out to dinner as well. He is pretty excited about this birthday since his friend will be spending the night.

3. LA Marathon training is coming along. The next 6 weeks will be full of long runs so things are starting to get real! This weekend calls for 17 miles and then a big 20 the week after. I am even hoping to squeeze a 22 miler in there. It has been windy here this week which makes my long runs much more challenging than I want them to be. I am hoping that the winds disappear so that I am able to have some decent long runs before this big race.

Any Eagles fans out there?

Jan 13, 2014

Citrus Heritage Half Marathon: 1/11/14

This was an inaugural race and half marathon #17 for me! I am always a sucker for inaugural races but that is not the main reason why I chose to run this race. I chose it because I wanted to celebrate Caroline's 45th birthday by doing one of the things that we both love...RUNNING of course! 

Not only was it an inaugural race but it was pretty close to home. No hotel needed and same day bib pick up which is always a plus! My other friend Megan also registered for the race so I had to do it! My only hopes for this race was NO WIND! Last week's half marathon was pretty crazy with the strong headwinds!
We arrived for bib pick up around 7:00 am and there was no line at all. They gave out long sleeve tech shirts to the half marathoners which was pretty nice. Since the race started in a park, they actually had real bathrooms. There were no lines, they were clean and they even had toilet paper! 
I met up with Caroline, Megan and Suzanne shortly before the start and we made Caroline wear a "Another Year of Fabulous" sash since it was her 45th birthday and her 25th half marathon. Pretty impressive woman if you ask me!
The national anthem was sang and then we were off. I was thinking that I was running a fast and flat course but not so much.
After last week's windy race, I was hoping that I would be able to run a better race this week since the weather conditions were much better. This race I did something that I have never done before and it was pretty hard for me. I ran this race by feel. I did wear my Garmin but I set it to distance only and never checked my pace. 
I really liked the course. It started at Arlington Heights Sports Park and then took the runners through Citrus State Historic Park and through the orange grove areas of Riverside. It was not an easy course for me but it was very pretty and mixed things up. There were times when we were running on asphalt, then on dirt and mud through the orange groves, then on trail, then rolling hills, and then some flat surfaces. The uphill parts of the course were not brutal but the uphill finish was. That was a first for me!

I started out faster than I should have but since I was not looking at my watch I had no idea. I am really bad at knowing my pace without looking at my Garmin. I kind of felt that I was pushing it a little too much for the first mile so I slowed down a bit. I am glad I did.
Mile 1: 7:51
Mile 2: 8:15
Mile 3: 8:16
Mile 4: 8:14
I met another runner on the course around Mile 5 by the name of Norm and we started chatting about running. I stayed with him until Mile 8 and then he took off and left me on the downhill mile. He was a little bit older than me but swore we were in the same age group! Norm's best half marathon time is 1:39 so obviously I could not hang with him for very long! I don't think he was wearing a GPS watch because he kept asking me what pace we were running and I had to keep reminding him that I was not looking at my pace. Miles 5-8 were the hardest since they were not flat and they just kept gradually climbing so I am glad that I had some company.
Mile 5: 8:37
Mile 6: 8:23
Mile 7: 8:56 
Mile 8: 8:55 

GU was handed out at Mile 8 which was the end of the slow uphill climb. I think I backed off way too much on Miles 7 and 8 and had I looked at my Garmin this probably would not have happened. Mile 9 was all downhill and I took advantage of it and ended up passing quite a few runners who were ahead of me. 

Mile 9: 7:42
Mile 10: 8:18
Mile 11: 8:23

I had to refill my water bottle around Mile 11 so I lost a little bit of time there. The last two miles were one long stretch to the Finish Line. My legs were a little tired but I knew that the race was almost over and I had to keep my mind in it. As I was gathering my thoughts to finish the last mile, I was told by a race volunteer that I was the 7th place female overall. I wasn't sure if I heard her correctly or not but just the thought of it was enough to keep my legs going so I pushed myself to stay with it!

Mile 12: 8:09
Mile 13: 8:10
.10: 6:59

With one mile left in the race, I spotted the arch of balloons sitting at the top of a hill. Yes, the finish was uphill! There was a slight downhill and then a slight uphill to the finish. I told myself to pick it up a little on the downhill and try to maintain the same pace going back up. I was able to hold on and I gave it all that I had to the finish with the last .10 at a 6:59 pace!
My official time was 1:48:48 (8:18 pace) which is about 20 seconds faster than the half marathon that I ran last week. I was also the 7th overall female out of 241 and 36th overall out of 857 runners. Gotta love these small races!!
The weather was great for this race but the course was definitely more challenging! My calves were sore the next day which is always a sign that I ran a good race.
Isn't the medal super cute? My son was not impressed with the medal but was more impressed that the Bat Mobile made an appearance!

Have you ever ran a race by how you feel?

Anybody else race this weekend? 
I saw lots of posts on Instagram about the Dopey Challenge!
They made 48.6 miles look like a lot of fun!

Jan 7, 2014

Camarillo Half Marathon: 1/5/14

My first race of 2014 is done! My motivation has been lacking lately so I signed up for this race in hopes of finding my mojo again. I almost thought that this race was not going to happen since I has some strange knee pain the night before. I stepped out of my car and felt a sharp pain in my knee and it was not pretty. I iced my leg in my hotel room, took some Advil and said my prayers. I was feeling pretty disappointed since I did not want to start the year out with an injury. Thankfully I woke up pain free on Sunday morning with hopes of running the race.

The race did not start until 7:15 am and we stayed in a hotel that was a couple of miles away from the start. I set my alarm for 5:30 am and headed to the start around 6:15 am. It was about 40 degrees at the start so we decided to wait it out in the car. The parking lot was really close to the start so we waited until 6:45 am to hit up the bathrooms. There were a total of four porta potties and the line was pretty long. They did have some "real" bathrooms as well since the race started at a park. 
The course is flat and fast but the problem is that it was extremely WINDY! I think someone posted on Facebook that the gusts were 24-35 mph! Not fun! Most of the race was windy and when the runners caught a break it did not last for long. I would love to run this course less the winds since I think it would be a great PR course. The marathon is a double loop of the half marathon course so I really have respect for those who ran the full marathon.

The first mile was a test of my knee to make sure that it was going to hold up. I already had my mind set on turning back if I felt any pain. From the smile on my face, you can see that I was grateful to be running without the knee pain.
Mile 1: 8:16
Mile 2: 8:06
Mile 3: 8:26 Windy!
Mile 4: 8:27 Windy!
Mile 5: 8:01
Mile 6: 8:04

My goal for this race was to average an 8:35 pace and I did accomplish that but not without a struggle. The part that sucks is that I was able to run at a decent pace when there were no headwinds so I think I could have done a lot better... less the winds that is. My knee felt fine but my IT band started to bother me around Mile 9 and then I went into survival mode. I am busy nursing my IT band back to health with lots of icing and foam rolling.

Mile 7: 8:13 Windy
Mile 8: 8:01
Mile 9: 8:30 Windy!
Mile 10: 8:39 Windier!

The last 1.5 miles were horrible and water cups were flying everywhere. No matter how hard I pushed, my pace was slowing down and I felt like I was running hills!

Mile 11: 8:06
Mile 12: 8:25 Windy!
Mile 13: 8:51 Windiest! I thought I was going to blow away!
.12: 7:38

I tried to pick it up in the end but I was pretty tired from battling the winds and I think they won! I finished in 1:49:07 which was good enough for 6th in my age group out of 52. A female won the race in a time of 2:52:43 and the results also showed that a 99 year old woman ran the half marathon in 2:15:05. I doubt that is true since the race director didn't mention it but but I did see the first place female out there and she was kicking some serious butt!
I know that every race will not be a perfect one so with that thought in mind, I am hoping that my next race will be a better one. It doesn't a have to be a PR but just a good run! Having said that, I will be running another half marathon this Saturday to celebrate a birthday with this wonderful lady who will be turning 22.5 for the second time!

Jan 5, 2014

Several Reasons Why This Was a Great Week

This week was a great week for so many reasons. Since I was on vacation from work, I was able to get more running in than usual! Sometimes I have visions of quitting my job so that I have more time to train but that's not going to happen anytime soon. So why was it a great week for me?

1. My training included several types of runs this week. This is how every week should be!

Monday-(Tempo Run) 8.53 Mile progressive tempo run which was done in the attempt to find my mojo. I don't think I have found it yet but I am trying my best to stay on top of my training.

Wednesday-(Strength Run) 11.25 Mile Hilly run with the girls. I thought I was going to be sore after this one but nope! I felt great the next day and wanted to go for a run but stopped myself.

Friday-(Easy/Base Run) 7.50 Miles at an comfortable/natural pace. It is hard to me to run at an comfortable pace because I am always short on time and in a hurry. Once I get home from work and finally make it to the gym, I am tired and just want my run to be done. When you have the time and energy, an easy paced run can be a beautiful thing. 

Sunday-(Long Run) 13.12 Miles in the form of the Camarillo Half Marathon. My race recap will be up shortly!

2.I ran a total of 40.46 miles which is a record month for me! This was only possible because I was on vacation from work. I usually run about 25-30 miles a week and I have just learned to accept that as a working mom it is really about the quality miles that I can put in. I don't believe in "junk miles" and just running to hit a certain weekly mileage if I can't make the miles count.

3. I survived my first race of 2014 and even though it was not a PR it was a true test of my strength as a runner. I struggled through it but am thankful that I was able to run it!

4. I have not ran on the treadmill since December 19, 2013! I have been on vacation from work since December 20, 2013 and I have been able to go on some "real" runs this whole time. I know that once I get back to work I will be back on the dreadmill but it was fun while it lasted. Maybe if I had the Boston Marathon Treadmill my whole opinion of the treadmill would change! Ha!

5. I got a new Fitbit Force for Christmas and I am having fun tracking my daily activity and sleep. My goal is to take 10,000 steps a day and I have been meeting or exceeding my goal almost every day.

6. I won a great giveaway from Christina over at The Athletarian! I can't wait to get all of this cute stuff! It has been a while since I have won something so maybe this is a sign that I am going to be lucky in 2014!

I feel like 2014 is off to a great start and I hope things stay this way. LA Marathon is just 9 weeks away and by no means am I feeling ready! I really need to get my tail in gear...

How was your first week of 2014? 

Anything exciting happen?

Jan 1, 2014

How I Rang in 2014 and my one New Year Resolution

My sister and her family left last night. I drove them to LAX for a 10:40 pm flight back to South Carolina. Her husband left a few days early since he is in the Navy and had to re-enlist in time to get his bonus! I felt bad that she had to fly across the country with two small kids but she handles it like a boss! The house is so quiet now that they are gone. It made me sad last night to come home to a big empty house.
After we got home, I was pretty tired and no intentions of staying up until midnight since I had a group run to get to in the morning. This is how I spent my New Year Eve and morning for the most part...in my warm and comfy bed!
The girls were planning on 8-9 miles but it always turns into more so I wanted to be well rested. We ended up eating 11.25 hilly miles for breakfast. It felt good to tackle those hills but I am sure I am going to feel it tomorrow even though our pace was easy.
My first race of the year will be a half marathon on Sunday. I kind of decided on it at the last minute since I you need to get my behind in gear. I am going to use it as a training run since I have a 13 mile run at marathon goal pace on the schedule. I have no goals for this race but to finish it since my motivation has been lacking and I probably cannot even hang at MGP!
Tonight we will be having dinner with my friend who lost her husband four months ago. She is doing a lot better and learning to take life one day at a time. I am not a big New Year's Resolution person but if there is one thing that I want to work on this year it is being thankful for what I have and appreciating every day of my life for what is worth. Tomorrow is not promised and your life can change in the blink of an eye. My friend is living proof of this and watching her and her young son struggle has been very tough for me.

Happy New Year and thank you to everyone who continue to support me and read this blog!

Are you a  New Year's Resolution person?

Any Resolutions for 2014?