Running Goals: Changing my focus

I’ve talked about this before, but after my experience at the Rome Marathon in March, I decided to focus on my half marathon goals & put the marathon on a back burner. When I achieved my sub-2 half goal at Rock n Roll San Diego, I continued to focus on half marathons and set a goal of a 1:45 half focusing on doing this at the Women’s Half in Scottsdale on Nov 2. Well if you’ve been reading or following along on Instagram you know, I’ve been struggling with being motivated by my goal.

I thought after Rome that I needed to achieve my half goals in order to be able to achieve my marathon goals and mentally I did.  However, I didn’t take into account that I’ve spent the last 2 summers marathon training and while, it’s not easy, I find it more exciting to train for a marathon vs a half.  I know I can do a half anytime and while a 1:45 goal is a huge speed goal, it wasn’t enough to keep me motivated.

I’ve been feeling like my running has been forced and it hasn’t really been fun lately, I neglected to remember that I really enjoy achieving those higher mileage goals and there really is nothing like going out there and running 20 miles on a Saturday morning :).  These shorter mileage runs have been a challenge and I think mentally I’ve just been doing just the minimum vs really pushing it.

So that being said, after talking it over with my coach and giving it a bit of consideration, I’ve decided to change my RnR Las Vegas registration from the half to the marathon!!

I am very fortunate that Sean agreed to run with me and help pace me as I attempt my first sub 4 hour marathon.  My friend Vanessa is also pacing the 4:00 hour pace group so I will know several other runners and will have a lot of support at the actual race as well as on my journey.

And so it begins…Marathon Training!!

 

The San Francisco Marathon – 1st Half Marathon Recap (July 27, 2014)

I love to race, no matter what the outcome, PR or not, it’s been 8 weeks since my last race, which I think was part of the reason I was getting bored with my training, plus this crazy heat is insane :).

Last weekend, I went up to San Francisco to run the 1st half of the San Francisco Marathon and because this wasn’t really a goal race for me, I didn’t follow any of my normal pre-race rituals.  Normally, the day before a race, I do a shake-out run in the morning, maybe a bit of walking around the city in the morning but rest my legs in the afternoon, eat & hydrate well during the day and have pizza for dinner before going to bed early.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, Chrissy Field
Walking by the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

This time, I didn’t do my shake-out run, although I did walk over 10 miles throughout the day, I definitely didn’t rest my legs, I think I was on my feet pretty much all day, I barely ate, although I did have some water, I had a really yummy rice bowl for dinner and went to bed around 10:45p with my alarm set for 4:00a.  But I wouldn’t change it Saturday for anything, it was a fabulous day!

But how did doing the opposite of my normal affect my run?  The answer is to come…

First though a little side story, I signed up to run the half with my friend Pete, who was going to run the marathon, in the end, he wasn’t able to run so I met up with Sean, my amazing ultrarunner friend from San Diego, my sister Diane and brother in law, David, who live in the Bay Area.  Sean, was going to be running the Worth the Hurt, a total of 52.4 miles, or 2 back to back marathons starting at midnight, for a really amazing cause, to find a bone marrow match for an 8 year old boy, Baylor, in the San Francisco area who is battling leukemia. You can check it out and donate to the cause here.

Diane & David were running their very first 5k and this was a huge deal, especially for David who 11.5 years earlier was in a terrible car accident and his doctors never thought he would ever be able to run.  I’m so proud of him and so happy that I was able to be there to support them, even though I was running a different race.

San Francisco Marathon, Expo, July 26, 2014, San Francisco, California
At the Expo with my sister, Diane – it was her first 5K!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…I didn’t sleep well the night before the race, I woke up suddenly, practically jumping out of bed twice, first because I was dreaming that I missed my alarm and second because the recycling truck came by and dumped a ton of bottles suddenly.

But I didn’t miss the alarm and was able to get ready and out the door on my way to the start line around 4:20a.  We stayed about a mile from the start line and it was a quick easy walk down to the Embarcadero that morning.  I got down towards the start line a little after 4:30a and was waiting to see if I could catch Sean between races to see how he did.

Another quick caveot, I am a part of this really amazing group on facebook, that was created by my friend David DeNeire last year, called 365 days of Cardio Challenge … One Month at a Time. It’s a great group, with people from all over the country & world for that matter.  The goal is to do 25 min of cardio or exercise in general every day. When I put it out there that I was heading to SF for the race, one of the amazing ladies, Sam, in the group lives near by and made sure to come and cheer me on at the start.  So I texted to let her know I was down there and to see if we could get a picture and chat for a min.

By this time is was about 5:10 and I wasn’t finding Sean so I decided I should probably head back to my corral, I’m not sure what time I put in when I registered, but I was in Wave 5, which was starting around 6am.  Right as I got there, Sam texted and told me she was at the start, so I checked my bag and headed back up to see if I could find her.  Well turns out she was on the other side of the start line from me, so I told her I’d catch up with her when I got up there and then managed to see the Elites and Wave 1 start the race, so that was pretty cool.

San Francisco, Marathon, Elite Start, July 27 2014 San Francisco, Marathon, Elite Start, July 27 2014

I then made my way back to Wave 5 which was a little confusing, there was a sign for Wave 4 & one for Wave 6 but I didn’t see one for 5, the other thing that was quite annoying, there were no port-a-potties or bathrooms at all between the start and Wave 6, in fact outside of 2 spots, I didn’t see any all race.  I’m glad I didn’t end up needing to use one because that would have been a huge issue.

It was a little cool out, with a decent amount of humidity.  I wasn’t sure what to do considering my mishap of wearing too many clothes during the Rome Marathon, but I made the decision to run in my long sleeve shirt, and considering the humidity, I’m really glad I wore my Lululemon running capris.

Pre-Race Photo
Pre-Race Photo

We finally got to the start, Bart Yasso was helping to start us off, I wish I had gotten a picture of him, but I was busy looking for Sam, who is the sweetest lady, she was right there before I stepped over the timing mat so I stopped to say Hi! and give her a hug, she gave me a kiss, said good luck and was like get out of here! lol.

San Francisco Marathon, 1st Half Marthon, July 27 2014
The view from Wave 5 🙂
The lovely Sam and I before I started the 1st Half
The lovely Sam and I before I started the 1st Half

And then I was off.  I went to start my Garmin only to find I lost the satellite even though I had just turned it on for the 3rd time.  So I’m glad I had my Nike+ on too, but I ended up getting it on, but was only at .65 mi at the 1 mile mark so I reset and started again so I could see my pace.

First few miles were right there on the Embacadero, I wasn’t really pushing it, but trying to get acclimated.  I had a slow mile one for once, and kind of just went from there.  The first hill was after running past Chrissy Field, I just went slow and steady up and didn’t have too many problems, then came a nice downhill by Fort Mason and we continued heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge.

By Chrissy Field
By Chrissy Field

There was another really big hill before we got to the actual bridge.  I managed to make it 3/4s of the way up before I had to walk a minute and then we were heading over the bridge!  I have to say this was my absolute favorite part of the race, I think it was a little over 4 miles over and around the rest area and back.  The first half, I was looking to see if I could see Sean, since he had started before me, I thought I might see him on the other side, but no luck. I did however see a runner in a very interesting get-up!! Sorry for the blurry photo, but I think you can make out what he’s wearing!

Interesting get-up, huh?
Interesting get-up, huh?
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, July 27 2014
Getting ready to go over the Golden Gate Bridge

We finished up with the bridge and then immediately headed up a hill, I was pretty tired by this point so I did walk up a portion of it, but then came the 2nd best part of the race, this amazing downhill for what seemed like forever, it was amazing, I have to be really careful on the downhill because I’ve hyperextended my knee in the past, so I was concentrating on not doing that, but going downhill makes me feel like I’m flying.  After this there were a couple of more smaller hills and I was fine until mile 12 and then my hamstring started to cramp a little bit.  I’m not sure what I did but I walked a bit and then would run a bit and then were were at 13 miles so as soon as I could see the finish line I picked up the pace, I still had a bit left, I didn’t really push too hard this race, just running it to enjoy.  I ended up finishing in 2:07:01, which I was happy with, considering, I didn’t eat hardly anything all weekend and I didn’t sleep much either, that was pretty good!

Finish Line, Marathon, San Francisco, Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, July 27 2014
Almost ready to cross the finish line…

Finish Line, Marathon, San Francisco, Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, July 27 2014 Finish Line, Marathon, San Francisco, Marathon, 1st Half Marathon, July 27 2014

After I finished, I collected my bag from the UPS trucks.  I’m so glad I brought a change of clothes, I was soaked, it was sooo humid, my Garmin said 83%.  So I changed shirts and put on my track pants before heading to get some food.  They had this really awesome boxed water, which actually tasted really good, I got that after finishing the race.  The food section, had 1/2 bananas, muffins, coconut water and that was all except some coffee drinks or something which I didn’t explore. Kinda disappointing considering the size of the race. So I ate the other 1/2 of my GoMacro bar and the banana and that was all I ate until I got home to Phoenix that night.  What I was thinking, I don’t really know, but I just wasn’t super hungry, then I got distracted doing other things and never ended up eating, which if you know anything about me, NEVER happens.

Obligatory Medal selfie :)
Obligatory Medal selfie 🙂
Sam met me at the finish line...so sweet
Sam met me at the finish line…so sweet

The lovely Sam texted me to tell me she was waiting at the finish line, so I met up with her to chat.  She ran from the start line to the finish line to meet up with me, so unbelievably sweet considering we only know each other from FaceBook, and had never met before.  The power of social media!

So Sam and her husband drove me back to the finish line where I met up with my sister and husband, who actually didn’t start their 5k race until after I finished my half.  Apparently there were some technical difficulties or something.  But they were so so excited when I finally met up with them, David finished in 30:42 & Diane in 36:14 and were super happy with their times.

IMG_8063 IMG_8149

We tried to find out where Sean was using the SF Maraton App, but it wasn’t working properly so I couldn’t track him or any of the other people I knew running the marathon, so that was kind of a fail on their part.

All in all, I really enjoyed this race, which kind of surprised me a bit, because I had been really resistant to running it because of the hills, so I guess the hill training is paying off!! Thanks, Coach!! 😉

The only negatives, to me, were the food at the end, and that the tracking app didn’t work.

Now to continue working towards #20, Ventura Marathon Half Marathon on Sep 7.

Have you ever run a race expecting not to enjoy it but ended up loving the course??

 

Half Marathon Training (Jul 7 – 20)

Things have been really crazy the past 2 weeks, between our biggest monthly event of the year at work, not being able to sleep more than 4 hours a night, the heat & humidity and excitement about my upcoming trip to San Fran, I’ve had some ups and downs exercise wise these last 2 weeks.

So here goes…

Jul 7 – 13

Monday: 45 min run – Actual: 4.85 mi in 45:03 9:17 avg pace

Tuesday: 45 min Tempo Run – Actual: 5.19 mi in 45:02 8:40 avg pace – on Treadmill

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Wednesday: 60 min bike ride – Actual: 60 min inside, 21.07 miles

Thursday: 45 min hill repeats – Actual: 25 min on hills (this is the day if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know, I got kicked off the hill because it was a private street, oops) finished up after work with another 20 min on the treadmill. Total mileage 3.81

Friday: Strength Training – Actual: skipped

Saturday: Long Run 90 min – Actual: 9.64 miles in 1:29:42, 9:18 avg pace but there were a few stops for stretching, my calves have been super tight

IMG_7872

Sunday: Rest Day with Stretching & Foam Rolling – Actual: Drove in the car for 4 hours which isn’t very restful and did a little stretching

Heading home from Palm Springs
Heading home from Palm Springs

All in all this wasn’t a bad week – I just am having a mental block on getting past a certain mile number for my run times.

Jul 14 – 20

This week was a bit different and didn’t go nearly as well as the previous week.  I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours any day this week, until Saturday night, although I was awaken by a work text at 3:56am which is always fun.  My diet was off because of the events and being at the hotel and I just wasn’t very motivated, which happens from time to time.

Monday: 45 min run – Actual: 3.01 miles 26:59 8:58 avg pace in the morning, it was so unbelievable humid I split the run, 2.25 miles on the treadmill in the afternoon 20 min

Tuesday: was supposed to be a 45 min tempo run Actual: I had to work from 6am – 8:30pm so I asked to have the day off, plus my knee was bothering me so I thought it was good to take an extra rest day

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Wednesday: 45 min tempo run – Actual: 4.65 miles 45 min 9:41 avg pace on treadmill, I was still feeling a bit of a twinge in my knee when I went too fast so I backed off on the speed and just ran

Thursday: 45 min run – Actual: Rest Day I actually felt like I was going to fall asleep the entire day at work, took a nap by the pool and felt better

Friday: Strength Training – Actual: Another rest day with another nap after work, although, I ended up working for an additional 2 hours later in the afternoon

Saturday: 2 hour long run – Actual: 10 miles 1:35:20 9:32 avg pace – I misread my schedule oops, I was supposed to do 2 hours but since I’ve been doing 1:30 for the longest time, that’s what I had in my head

Best part of my run, sunrise :)
Best part of my run, sunrise 🙂

Sunday: Rest day with stretching & foam rolling – Actual: real rest day, I finally slept practically the whole night, only woke up 2 times and was able to fall back asleep both times

Obviously more rest was needed last week and some weeks are going to be like that.  While it’s not as hot as I remember it being last year, it’s definitely been a LOT more humid for us and I know that’s playing a role in my training.  Less than a week from my 19th half. I’m excited to be running in a new city and having a lot of friends to visit with.

Until next time, keep running!

 

 

 

Half Marathon Training (Jun 30 – Jul 6)

Only 20 days until The San Francisco Marathon (1st half for me).  I’m really excited because my sister & brother-in-law are doing the 5k so it’ll be a bit of a family affair.

This week was so much better, I felt good, my nutrition was great, no slip ups even with the 4th of July.  The only issue was the heat and more significant the humidity.  It has gotten crazy humid this week, and while I know that it’s nothing compared to what people in other areas of the country are dealing with, for us, 40% humidity is horrible.  Earlier this year, I was running with 6% so as you can imagine that’s quite significant.  I had a bit of an issue with the heat but powered thru the best I could.

Monday: 45 min Tempo Run
Actual: 45 min – 5.09 mi, avg pace 8:52 – 82 degrees/30% humidity

Tuesday: Run Clinic with my coach & others, 30 min strength training
Actual: Run Clinic, we did a dynamic warm-up, a few laps around the track trying different form improvements, along with a lot of drills, I had to leave a bit early so I’m not sure how they ended the session.
Strength Training after work – 2x around all the nautilus machines with 10 minutes of ab/core work

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Wednesday: Bike 60 minutes, inside or out
Actual: Walked 1.2 miles in the am from the car dealer – 30 min pool running – 10 miles on the indoor bike, 6 miles on my road bike (60 minutes)

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Thursday: 45 min run
Actual: 27 min running 3.12 miles, 8:53 avg pace – 24 min run/walk 2.17 miles – super hot & humid and my legs were sore from the bike the night before, oops 🙂

Friday: Hill Repeats
Actual: Got myself out of bed at 4am on the 4th of July to go find a hill to run up 6x approx. 300 ft of elevation change.

Saturday: Long Run 90 min
Actual: Hard one this morning but I finally managed to do a decent long run, 9.76 miles, 1:33, 9:36 avg pace.  There was a little walking on this one, the humidity is really killing me – I can’t wait for the cooler temps in SF!

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Sunday: Rest Day

All in all a great week, I’m feeling much stronger, even with the humidity and heat.  Ready to run!

Half Marathon Training Week 8 (Jun 23 – 29)

This was another semi rough week, I was still detoxing from my sugar issue so I was still not feeling 100% and we had work meetings again this week and it’s hard to stick to my nutrition plan when I’m away from the office.

I think I mentioned last week that I decided to work with a nutritionist again to get myself back on track.  It’s definitely an expense that I don’t necessarily need or want, but having that accountability and adding in the fact that I’m paying to do this, makes me more motivated to stick with it.  I’m going to talk a bit about my nutrition plan in my next post.  This week I was really good, I only had added sugar one time, at Tuesday night’s work dinner at Capital Grille, I couldn’t resist the creme brulee which is my absolute fav dessert ever.  But I’m proud to say that was my only cheat the entire week!

creme brulee, dessert, capital grille
My fav, creme brulee, this one from The Capital Grille.

Now onto my workouts…

Monday: After a second not so good long run, my coach suggested I take an extra rest day and do some yoga & stretching

Tuesday: 60 minutes crosstraining on the bike – Actual: 45 min on the bike – 15 miles – I was running a bit behind for work and this was our 15 hour work day so I think it’s ok 🙂

Wednesday:45 min tempo run – Actual: I did 4.96 miles in 45 min on the treadmill, not quite a tempo run, but it was consistent and I felt pretty good outside of a bit of of a twinge in my left glute.

Thursday: 30 min easy run – Actual: 3.5 mi avg pace 8:35 (Nike+ was a bit off from my Garmin) not exactly easy pace but I actually felt great and it didn’t seem like I was going that fast. And a little yoga after to stretch out.

Post run half-moon at sunrise :)
Post run half-moon at sunrise 🙂

Friday: 30 min strength training – Actual: 30 mins of light weights and lots of abs – also 30 minutes of running in the pool

Saturday: 90 min run with 4x5min of between 8:00 – 8:30 pace  Actual: Trail Run 7.28 miles with 596 ft of elevation change 1hr 39min, avg pace 13:39.  I was with a friend who was being conservative because of the uphills, but I took the lead at one point on the downhill and was totally killing it – I seriously felt like I was flying, it was so awesome!  I don’t do a lot of trail runs because it is so hot during the summer.  When you have to go out around 4/4:30am it’s not really safe to trail run in the dark by yourself, but I do really enjoy them.

Going out a 4am is so worth it...sunrise run.
Going out a 4am is so worth it…sunrise run.

Sunday: Rest Day

I finished June up with 88.66 miles – which wasn’t too bad considering how bad I felt for most of the month :).  I’m ready to rock July!

Race Recap: San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

I’m really bad about getting these recaps up in a timely fashion, but sometimes it takes me a bit to process what happened and then of course, life happens, work events typically follow race weekends and since this race, I’ve been off due to my small sugar addiction taking over.  But now all is semi-back to normal and **SPOILER ALERT** I’m so excited to say that I FINALLY at Rock n Roll San Diego, my 18th half marathon ran a sub 2 hour race!

So I ran this race back in 2012 and had a horrible experience, it was seriously the worse race I’ve ever done in my life, mostly on the highway with this horrible slanted road from the ramps.  After this race, I pretty much swore there was no way I was running this race again.  They asked for feedback after the race and apparently a lot of other runners felt the same way so in 2013, they changed the course.  While on the shake-out run on Saturday, I heard that they changed it again this year, but since I didn’t run in 2013 I’m not sure.  All I know is that this year I really enjoyed the course.

Pete & I walked to the start line from our hotel which was right next to the Expo so probably about 2 miles.  I was cold when I left and I like to check a bag, when I can, so I have something to change into after the race, which I learned in Rome, can be essential.  By the time we got to the starting area I was pretty warm so I dropped off my bag immediately.  I love when they have the UPS trucks for the bags, it’s always so organized.

I let my friend Rhea know we were there and we were going to head up to see the marathon start, but after the last race when I didn’t make it to the Port-a-Potties prior to the race, I decided to take care of that first then meet up with her.  The lines were crazy long so I ended up not being able to see the marathon start.  They were pretty strict about not letting stragglers on the marathon course after the last corral left and kept making announcements about marathoners having to start now.  Marathoners started at 6:15a and the half started at 6:45a.

Not so nervous this time around - laughing & relaxed :)
Not so nervous this time around – laughing & relaxed 🙂

Finally I headed up to the start line to meet up with Rhea, aka – Ms. Speedy – lol, who was up in corral 1. She was going to try and run with Meb (he was pacing the 1:30 Pace Group).  Pete didn’t want to come with me so I wished him well and left him at corral 12.  We’ve run a lot of the same races, but I don’t typically run with anyone specific in a race situation.

Start Line & a bunch of Elvis's
Start Line & an Elvis convention?

Rhea & I Pre-Race

After a few pics, I headed back to my corral to get ready for the start.  I ate a Vanilla Honey Stinger Waffle, which ended up being the only thing I ate before or during the race, and made my way to corral 10.

After about 10 minutes we were off…

San Diego, Rock n Roll, Half Marathon, Jun 1, Corral 10
The start line from Corral 10

I was feeling pretty good, although I knew I was a little dehydrated, but at that point it is what it is and I had drunk a ton of water the day before.

Now I don’t normally have a plan as to how to run, I just run.  This time though, my coach told me to go super slow the first 3 miles, then from 4 – 10 run at goal pace and then if I still had some energy kick it up a notch the last 3.1.

Miles 1 – 3 (9:09, 9:36, 9:23) I didn’t quite get the slow memo for mile 1 but that’s actually a lot better than it could have been :).  I had a lot of tightness in my calves during these miles, but I just took it as my body getting acclimated.

Mile 4 (9:19) what I thought was going to turn into a Burnt Toast moment, the bottom of my left foot fell asleep and literally ever step I took I could feel the pins and needles – that was a first.  I had on new lululemon socks, that I bought the day before, so I was wondering if that was the problem, although I wear the same style all the time so I didn’t think that was the issue.  Needless to say I continued running, but kept thinking I might have to fix my sock.

Miles 5 – 8 (9:10, 8:51, 8:54, 8:46) The pins & needles feeling went away and then I was feeling pretty good & getting faster

Mile 9 (9:08) I slowed down a bit in mile 9 to walk thru a water stop.  I had a cramp in my lower right abdomen that was giving me a bit of trouble, I actually had a lot of trouble drinking anything during this race because every time I took a sip (I was drinking gatorade & had my belt on) I would get a cramp.

Mile 10 (8:51) At this point, we were well into the downhill although the sun was up now and the heat was starting to increase.  I was at about 1:30 or so and was telling myself I only had 3.1 to go – and 30 mins – all I needed to do was three 9:50 min miles and I’d hit my goal.

Mile 11 (9:04) I had to stop here again for a few seconds and walk.  Literally the cramp was so painful and I wasn’t able to breath thru it. I still have no idea what it came from. But I saw & then passed, Doctor Dribble, a running “celebrity” from Miami who dribbles 2 basketballs thru the entire race.

Dr. Dribble, Rock n Roll, San Diego, Half Marathon

Mile 12 – 13 (8:56, 8:27, last .16 (Garmin was a bit long) 6:26) By this point I was almost to the home stretch.  It was so nice to be going more down hill, and there were some Team in Training coaches that were on the side of the road saying things like, drop your shoulders, relax your forehead, unclench your jaw, etc.  I didn’t realize how tense I was until I followed that advice.  I was feeling good and speeding up and once I got to the final stretch and could see the finish, which was a relatively steep downhill, I totally kicked it in and sprinted down passing a few people on the way.  I lost one of my water bottles (it just bounced out) about 20 feet from the finish.  I finished, remembered to stop my Garmin and seriously thought I was going to be sick.

There was a really nice volunteer at the finish who asked me if I was going to be ok, to which I responded, I think I’m going to be sick and since the med tent was right there, they had me sit down for a few minutes and gave me a bottle of Gatorade.  I just pushed it a bit too much at the end but once I got some electrolytes in me I felt a lot better.

When I looked down and finally saw what my Garmin said, 1:53:33 I was incredibly happy because I didn’t just squeak by with a 1:59:59 but I was 1 min 29 sec under!!  This was over a 7 minute PR from my previous PR from the Phoenix Marathon Half in March. Read about that here.  I was also incredibly proud of doing negative splits.  My coach had a lot of negative split runs on my schedule and I’m happy to say that they paid off :).

Race RecapRace Medal

One thing about Rock n Roll series races, they have a lot of food after the race to refuel.  I got a banana, a bag of snack mix, another bottle of Gatorade, a carton of chocolate milk, a power bar recovery bar and a bottle of water.  I was seriously dehydrated and I drank both bottles of Gatorade, the chocolate milk and about 1/2 the water by the time Pete finished.  I only ate the banana.

I found Rhea after the race, she was so sweet to wait about a 1/2 hour for me to come in. We took a few pics and then she had to head to a baby shower so I went to get my bag and wait for Pete.

Post Race with Rhea

I’m really glad I had some clothes because there was about 94% humidity (according to my Garmin) and I was totally soaked.  While waiting for Pete, I ended up changing completely to be more comfortable.  I totally recommend bringing at least a new shirt to change into after a race.

Post race selfie
Post race selfie – so excited!!

I was starving by the time Pete finished and he didn’t have the best of races so we ended up skipping the post race concert, which I would have liked to see, Aloe Blacc, but we were going to have to drive back to Phoenix after lunch and really in the end, food and doing my normal bath routine after the race was more important than a concert at this point.

Now most people prefer an ice bath after a race, but I’m weird and I’ve found that heat actually works 1000% better for me so we headed to the hot tub so we could get a bit of sun and relax before lunch. We met a really sweet girl from Lake Havasu who had just finished her first half and couple of other runners.  Love the running community it’s really a great group of people just supporting each other.

A little hot tub action after the race
A little hot tub action after the race

And now to eat…recap on my post race eats coming soon!

What is your half PR? And where did you run it?

Half Marathon Training Week 7 (Jun 16 – 22) & What I’m Training For

I’ve been training with my new coach for 7 weeks now, time sure flies doesn’t it?  And it occurs to me that I don’t think I’ve ever put out there what I’m training for.

I have so many goals, fitness, financial, personal, you name it and I’ve probably got a goal for it.  I started this year with 4 major running goals for 2014.

1) Run a sub 4 hour marathon

2) Run a sub 2 hour half marathon

3) If goal 1 was achieved, then attempt to BQ in the fall

4) Finally, run a sub 30 min 5k in a race (for all the races I’ve done, I’ve never seriously run a 5k)

Well, goal #1 didn’t happen as much as I wanted it to in Rome so I decided to concentrate on goal #2 which then led to my current goal.  I have wanted to achieve my half marathon goal for a while now, but when you are marathon training, it makes it hard to focus on anything else, so as I’ve discussed, I’ve put my marathon goals on the back burner to concentrate on the half instead.

Which leads me to my current goal – to run a 1:45 or under in the half, which right now would mean dropping about a minute per mile.  So that’s what I’m working towards and time will tell if I’m mentally as well as physically prepared.  I’ve picked a goal race, the Women’s Running Half Marathon in Scottsdale on Nov 2 (hopefully it’ll be a bit cooler then).

But now, let’s recap last week…

Another so-so week as I was feeling off most of the week, probably due to cutting out a lot of sugar from my diet.  I’ll talk about my nutrition in a future post, but it’s enough to say I’ve really fallen off the clean eating wagon and my running is starting to suffer from it.

Monday – 45 min Tempo Run (15 warm-up, 20 min tempo, 10 min cooldown) Actual: 45:03, 5.12 mi, avg pace 8:48 – did first 20 min at tempo because I have had a hard time with these runs in the past and was feeling good. Not exactly what I was supposed to do – lol.

Tuesday – 45 min run Actual: 30:40, 3.20 miles, avg pace 9:24 and then a 2 mile walk.  I wasn’t feeling well on Monday and I didn’t eat much so I was starving during this run, I normally don’t have a problem running thru the hunger but no go this time.  The view though, really made my morning, one of the best sunrises I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

Sunrise, Phoenix, Arizona, Trail Run
Most amazing sunrise…

Wednesday – 60 min bike ride & 30 min strength workout – Actual: 45 minutes on the elliptical at work (the bike wasn’t working) and 30 min strength training.  1 set weights, 15 min cardio x 3

Nautilus machines 3×12
*Leg Press 110# *Leg Extension 50#*Seated Leg Curl 60# *Double chest 50# – arm cross & decline press
*Torso arm 60# *Biceps 30# *Compound Rowing 60# *Lateral raise 40#
*Overhead Press 40# *Triceps 30# *Abdominal 60#
*Crunches x50 *Full Sit-ups x30 *Modified push-ups x30

Thursday – 45 min run – Actual: 45 minutes on the treadmill during lunch, 4.98 miles, avg pace 9:02

Friday – 30 min easy run – Actual: 30 minutes 3.30 miles, avg pace 9:02 – Garmin died after mile 1 and so I just ran, it was super nice to just run without looking at the pace, etc.  I had nike+ on as a back-up but I don’t have the voice telling me my mileage so it was nice.

Watch free run
Watch free run

Saturday – 90 min run with 3*5min pick-ups at goal pace – Actual: 1:21, 8 miles, avg pace 10:14 This run was horrible, I started it dehydrated and with a new hydration belt which bounced all around, so much for bounce free, but why we test this stuff out before race day.  I went home after 3.3 miles and switched belts but my back had already started to hurt from changing my stride to compensate for the bouncing belt, so my hamstring started to hurt and by mile 7 I wasn’t having it anymore and walked the last mile home.

Start in the moonlight, end with sunlight
Start in the moonlight, end with sunlight

Sunday – 20 min stretching & foam rolling – Actual: 20 min stretching & foam rolling

I’m starting a new nutrition plan this week and seriously working on my hydration as well since I’ve had 2 runs in a row with hydration problems.

Do you have a goal race? or Time?

Running with Meb

I had the pleasure of being a part of the shake-out run with Meb Keflezighi this past weekend as part of the Suja Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon & Half Marathon weekend.  I had seen the shake-out run advertised, and since my birthday is coming up, I decided to give myself an early birthday gift & so I signed myself and my friend and running buddy, Pete up to Run with Meb.

This event took place on Saturday, May 31 at the San Diego Hall of Champions and would include the following: (from the RnR SD website)

  • 3 Mile Shakeout Run guided by Meb Keflezighi
  • All participants will receive a pair of CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0, the same socks Meb won the 2014 Boston Marathon in. which run $60
  • Post Run, light Brunch
  • Limited Edition Run With Meb Bib
  • Photo Opportunity with Meb
  • Run With Meb Gift signed by Meb Keflezighi
  • Guest appearances from other participating Elite Athletes

I told Pete that we were going to do this and he was a “little” concerned about it being a super fast shake-out run, but I assured him it would be for all levels, they weren’t going to just limit the event to super fast runners – LOL.

Saturday morning, we started out with a semi-light breakfast in the morning, well, light for me, just an egg sandwich and some potatoes, around 7a.  The event started at 9:30a and I knew I’d be starving if I waited until after the run to eat so I needed something.

After breakfast we headed over to the Hall of Champions and arrived around 9a.  There was already a line to get the limited edition Run with Meb bibs, so we lined up too.  All in all, I believe there were about 150 or so people there.

San Diego, Hall of Champions, Run with Meb, Shake out run, rock n roll marathon Run with Meb, race bib, San diego, Rock n Roll, Shake out run, california

We got measured for our CEP Progressive+ Run Socks, there are both mens & womens sizing and then there are 3 sizes and multiple colors.  I normally wear ProCompression when I wear compression socks during runs, but I do have a different pair of CEP compression socks too.  I found them super compressive so I typically only wear them when I’m in recovery.  Meb wore these when he raced and won the Boston Marathon so we got the same style in white.  This was an awesome gift since they retail for $60.

I tried these new Progressive+ Run Socks out and they are amazing, padded sole and don’t feel nearly as tight as the other style I have.  I especially like the padding on the sole.  I still love ProCompression and they are my go-to socks, but these have been nice since the bottoms of my feet have really been bothering me.

After that, we headed over to some tables that they had set up and Alan Culpepper, the director of the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon & Half Marathon, but also a super accomplished runner, himself, came up to introduce Meb and a few other elites that were there.  He ran in the 2000 & 2004 Olympics, the later with Meb, when he won the Silver medal.

They introduced the other elite runners, including Alan Webb, who holds the American record in the mile, 3:46:91!! That’s 3 minutes 46.91 seconds!! For one mile!  Also introduced were Jeffrey Eggleston, who placed 8th at the 2014 Boston Marathon.  Tyler McCandless, a Newton Running Elite (I love Newton Running Shoes!!), and Andy Wacker, all three of them have run a 1:03 half marathon and train in Boulder, CO.

And then came the main event! Meb coming up and talking to us for a few minutes.  Check out my video of Meb talking with us on YouTube.

http://youtu.be/FtXjF_gth1s

After this, we all headed out for the run.  By this time it was close to 10am and the sun was out, so we grabbed some water and headed out.

shake-out run, run with meb, san diego, rock n roll marathon, half marathon, california, runners Balboa Park, San Diego, Run with Meb, Shake-out Run, rock n roll marathon, half marathon

Silly mid run selfie
Silly mid run selfie

I tried to start out kind of slow, we were going to be racing the next day after all and I had a big goal in mind, so I didn’t want to overdo it. I forgot to start my Garmin, so I only ended up tracking 2.84 miles but those were at a 8:54 pace.  I was towards the front of the group, and actually was running with/near Tyler McCandless for a while, he was talking to another runner.  It was a fun run, and great talking to lot of other people, I even met 2 ladies who live in the Phoenix area and are training for the San Francisco Marathon too (I’m just doing the first half).

I high-fived Meb post run, he finished a few minutes ahead of me and then post run, I had to do some downward facing dog, my calves were so stiff, I was a little concerned but we only ran 3ish miles and it normally takes me a bit to get loosened up.

Post Run photo - i don't look like i'd even been running do I? This is why I love Lululemon!!
Post Run photo – i don’t look like i’d even been running do I? This is why I love Lululemon!!

I was waiting for Pete to come in before heading in for a light brunch.  I knew he would be a little bit behind me, but I saw Meb run back to go find the slower runners.

I saw Daniel, who introduced himself to me earlier, he recognized me from my instagram account, how exciting! Lol! It’s the little things, right?  He was with his sister and he was going to be running the marathon on Sunday, his second.  He had done NYC last year as well as his first.

It's pretty cool how you can meet amazing like minded people via social media.
It’s pretty cool how you can meet amazing like minded people via social media.

Soon after this Pete came in and was a bit hot, so we headed in to get some food.  They had a nice little buffet with yogurt, granola and 3 types of breakfast burritos.  It wasn’t anything super special but it was decent.  By the time we had gotten inside most of the tables were taken and they were just about to start with some Q&A with the other elite runners.

Meb ran in with the last of the runners and then got ready to start signing.  They lined everyone up by the number on your bib so obviously being numbers 96/97 we had a bit of a wait, especially since they were grouping everyone in groups of 20.  Eventually it got to the point where they had to speed things up, the first 20 or so people got a lot more time to chat with Meb and have more things signed than we did.  I ended up having my bib signed and then got a photo with him.  It was kind of rushed so I don’t think it’s the best photo, but you can tell I was excited. One with just me & Meb & then the other with Pete added in.

Me & Meb Me, Pete & Meb

My autographed bib :) This will be framed and added to my collection
My autographed bib 🙂 This will be framed and added to my collection

After this, there was still a long line of people behind us so we ended up heading out.  All in all it was a good event.  The only thing I think that would have been better would have been if Meb could have done a little Q&A with us as well, but there were a lot of people and only one of him :).

Have you ever done an organized shake-out run before a race?

 

Half Marathon Training – Week 6 (Jun 9 – 15)

This was an interesting week.  And it didn’t go quite as I had hoped.  I was having a lot of pain in the bottom of my feet, which is semi-new.  I had plantar fasciitis in early 2013, I ran on it for probably 8 weeks (including racing 3 half marathons), which is so not recommended but what can I say, I’m a crazy runner, and I had already signed up and paid for those races.

Anyways, this time around, I was going to deal with any issues right away so I emailed my coach, who is also my Physical Therapist, and I went in for a quick visit just to see what was going on.  I have a stand-up desk at work, YAY!  So I alternate between sitting on my ball chair & standing, however lately I’ve been standing a bit more and without the proper shoes so now, I’m alternating a bit more, wearing better work shoes & standing on my old yoga mat, all of which seems to be helping.  Oh, and stretching my calves & shins more too.

Monday – Easy Run – Actual: 3.05 miles 30:30, 10:01 pace

Tuesday – Strength Training – Actual: 30 minutes of using the Nautilis equipment at the work gym with some core work too

IMG_7549

Wednesday – This was a day that we changed quite a bit, originally it was supposed to be hill repeats, but then we (my coach & I) were going to do a Tempo Run, but when my feet were bothering me, we changed it to 60 min on the bike – Actual: 60 minutes, 21.1 miles PT visit in the evening

Thursday – 45 min run – Actual: My legs weren’t feeling it and I actually stopped to stretch a bit which didn’t help so I cut my run short – 3.7 miles, 34:59, 9:27 pace

Stretch it out
Stretch it out

Friday – 45 min Hill Repeats – Actual: I did the hill repeats on the treadmill as I was a bit lazy about getting out of bed this morning since I didn’t sleep half the night (this is what happens when you eat too much sugar – oops).

2.23 miles 26:08, 11:43 pace, 6×90 sec varying incline from 2 – 6 with speed increase from 6 – 8mph – I tried 8mph at an incline of 8 and almost fell off the treadmill so I scaled it back a bit.

Saturday – 1hr 30 min Long Run (try to stay around 9/9:30 min miles) – Actual: Again this run didn’t go as planned, I was properly hydrated at the beginning of the run, however I quickly became dehydrated and was even getting a bit lightheaded at certain points, which is really not good.  I drank Gatorade & water throughout the run but I was very happy to see 1:30 on my Garmin :).  1:30:02 for 9.07 miles at 9:56 pace – included a lot of walking around mile 7 and a stop light stop at mile 8.

How funny that I took this pic at 6:14a on 6/14 :)
How funny that I took this pic at 6:14a on 6/14 🙂

Sunday – Rest Day – Actual: Beach ball volleyball with my sister in the pool

And a Happy Father’s Day!  My dad was my original running buddy and while he can’t run any more due to knee issues, we used to run on vacation all the time.  He was even my track coach way back in the day when I was in grade school.

Running on the beach in Virginia Beach, 1993.  Back when I wore really baggy clothes and ran in cotton! Yikes!
Running on the beach in Virginia Beach, 1993. Back when I wore really baggy clothes and ran in cotton! Yikes!

And now to gear up for a really busy week, which includes getting my nutrition back on track.

 

Food Lover: 2 weeks of not so clean eating

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love food and I have a super crazy sweet tooth.  The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind as far as food goes with trips out of town for both personal & work events and I’ve been eating not so cleanly.  I don’t have any more planned trips until the end of July so I will be trying to get back on board with my normal clean eating diet starting this week.

This is going to be a super heavy photo post and everything was sooo good.

Starting with my work trip to Atlanta, we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead and they had some amazing food, even in banquets.

Lunch in The Cafe.  Cafe Turkey Club on multigrain bread with a roasted garlic aioli, Soy Cappucino & Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee (my favorite) with a lemon macaroon & fresh berries. Great way to start out the event!

Club, Sandwich, Ritz Carlton, Buckhead, Atlanta, Lunch Cappucino, soy milk, creme brulee, macaroon, ritz carlton, buckhead, atlanta, coffee, dessert

Tuesday night dinner, my boss & I have a tradition of going for a steak dinner the night before the event.  It’s our way of regrouping and starting the event off right.  This time around, we went across the street to Lenox Square and hit up Prime.  The food was amazing! Although the timing of the service was a bit off.  We attempted to start with what were absolutely AMAZING oysters but the seafood person was a bit behind so they actually came right after the first course and just before the entrees which was a bit odd, but ok.  I also had my favorite, spinach salad, love, love, love spinach, and a New York Strip steak before a great apple pie dessert, with a tiny bit of vanilla ice cream (which we shared).

Oysters, Prime, Buckhead, Atlanta, dinner Prime, Buckhead, Spinach, Salad Prime, Buckhead, New York Strip Prime, Buckhead, Atlanta, Dessert, Apple Pie

I didn’t have time to take a lot of photos of the amazing banquet food that we had the opportunity to eat at the Ritz Carlton, but these are a few from our dinner function.  I like to try a little of everything, just so I can comment when the guests talk about something.  Started off with an excellent plated salad, with goat cheese stuffed with something, maybe pears.  Then we had a buffet dinner, which included 3 meats, the salmon was excellent! and a bunch of different carbs, risotto & mashed potatoes, lots of veggies including purple carrots, cauliflower & green beans.  Then to top it off, some gran marnier creme brulee & a fruit tarte.

goat cheese, pear, salad, ritz carlton, buckhead, atlanta, banquet, dinner Dinner, banquets, ritz carlton, buckhead, atlanta, meat & carbs gran marnier, creme brulee, fruit tart, ritz carlton, buckhead, atlanta, banquet desserts, dessert

So after getting home from Atlanta, I headed out to San Diego for the Rock n Roll Marathon weekend with my friend/running buddy, Pete.  We travel to races a few times a year and always eat like kings, he loves food as much as me :).

We started out our food/running weekend at the Ocean Room, which was kind of a nondescript, somewhat empty place when we arrived.  But the food was really good.  We started out with a Kamikaze Roll, which was made with panko oyster, avo, gobo, cilantro, cucumber, tuna & tonkatsu sauce – YUMMY!! After which I had the seafood stew, which I would highly recommend.

Kamikaze Roll, Sushi, Ocean Room, San Diego, California seafood stew, dinner, san diego, california, ocean room, fresh fish

We decided against dessert at the restaurant and instead found a cute little gelato place called Chocolat Cremerie.  I only like fruit flavored gelato so I got a mix of strawberry, lemon which are my staples, but I mixed it up and added in some peach too.  It was pretty good.

gelato, chocolat, strawberry, lemon, peach, dessert, san diego, california

Breakfast on Saturday was pretty normal, eggs and toast, I didn’t want to eat too much before our shake-out run with Meb.  No photos since it’s so boring :).

Now lunch on the other hand was absolutely amazing!!  We went up to La Jolla on checked out this restaurant called Whiskandladle.  They have a sister restaurant called Prep Kitchen, which we plan to check out next time we go.  It reminded me a lot of the Fox Restaurant Concepts that we have a lot of here in Phoenix. We had the best server, I forget her name, darn it, but she was super cute (tiny) with short dark hair.  She was one of the best servers we’ve had!

So I started off with a cucumber & honey mimosa, which was a nice change from the normal orange juice.  Nice & light.  I chose the fish tacos for my entree, although I was super tempted by the special which was a pork carnitas, but I can get pork anytime and the tacos were made with yellow tail! and came with yummy house made chips. I very rarely eat chips, but I love house made chips, these were really good, but a bit salty, although I think that was a good thing with the race the next day.  To finish off the meal, we had fresh strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream, fennel & I think kumquat. Amazing!! I’m practically drooling just thinking about this meal.

cucumber, honey, mimosa, whiskandladle, lunch, la jolla, california Yellow Tail, Fish Tacos, house made chips, whiskandladle, la jolla, california, foodie strawberry, shortcake, muscat, wine, dessert wine, fresh strawberries, homemade whipped cream, dessert, whiskandladle, la jolla, california

We finished off Saturday, where I was finally able to meet the amazing & super speedy Rhea, one of my instagram friends, I love how social media brings people together, and her friends, Vanessa & Sean, who are equally speedy and amazing at dinner.  We went to a place called Buon Appetito, which was in the Little Italy part of  San Diego.  I thought it was ok, but not great.  I normally eat pizza the night before a race but they didn’t have any so I went with my second choice, lasagna.  It was prepared differently than I’ve had it so I’m thinking that the owners were from a different part of Italy than I’m familiar with.  I’m a lasagna connoisseur and this was not my favorite, however I ran really well the next day so I’m not knocking it :).  I think the best part of the meal was meeting Rhea and talking with her and her friends.  I love hanging out with other runners – it’s so inspiring to hear why everyone started running and what they have achieved.

lasagna, buon appetito, dinner, prerace, carbloading, little italy, san diego, california

After the race, we went to a really cool, eclectic place, called Eclipse Chocolate, which I’ll have a separate review coming up on.

And so as you can see, I’ve eaten a lot of really yummy food in the last 2 weeks, but it’s been pretty heavy on the dessert course so I’ll be concentrating on eliminating sugar from my diet for the foreseeable future, just to get back on track for a little bit.

Do you get off track, diet-wise, when you travel?  I try but I just love food and when I’m not in my normal routine, I don’t always eat as well as I should.