I’m Back!

22 Apr

Thanks to a fellow runner and blogger, Denise Joyce, I am back! Hopefully this fun “Running Tag” questionnaire gets me blogging again..boy do I have some news to share!!

But, first! Running Tag:
1. How long have you been running? 16 years! Since track & field in 5th grade.
2. Why did you start running? My dad and brother inspired me to start.
3. What is the furthest distance you have ever ran? 26.2 miles
4. What is your best running memory? I have lots!! High School: Running the 4×400 meters the morning after prom our senior year. Somehow, curls in our hair & glitter on our faces, we still ran pretty darn fast!!

College: Long runs with the team through Bidwell Park in Chico, CA.

Now: First 19 mile training run last October with my running buddy, Ashley. We ran through 4 cities, it rained, it poured, we laughed, we hurt, we saw more people on the trail that we KNEW that day than any other! We still managed an 8 something pace for 19 miles! So fun and memorable to run with friends, especially on “mile-stone” like training runs like this!

5. What shoes do you run in? Asics 2000 and Mizunos
6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race? Least favorite: 5k Most favorite: 1/2 Marathon & 10K
7. Do you have a running partner? I have many! A few friends, boyfriend, my dog, the HS track team I coach, my sister, my dad, coworkers BUT most of the time it’s just me, myself and I.
8. What is your favorite place to run? Bidwell Parl
9. What is your favorite running accessory? Garmin Watch (10) & Spi Belt!
10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running? OUTDOOR ALL THE WAY
11. What is your favorite time of the day to run? Morning
12. What races have you ran? Many. In high school and college I mostly ran the 800 meter dash, now I have run too many 5ks AND 10ks too count. I have also done  about 12 Half Marathons and one Full Marathon and two Triathlons.

13. What music do you listen to when running? Pandora or a playlist with a mix of country and new hip-hoppy stuff.
14. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in? Coldest: Chicago 20 degrees or lower (snow and all!) Hottest track practices in Chico.
15. What are some other exercises you love? Body Pump and Beachbody workouts like T25 and 21 Day Fix.
16. Are you currently training for something? Bay to Breakers 12k and Water to Wine 1/2 Marathon.
17. What are your current or future goals? BOSTON 2015
18. Advice for new runners? Take it slow at first. Try a mix of walking, jogging and running until you can run 1 mile straight. Then, keep building up!! You’ll be doing 5ks, 10ks and half marathons in no time! Also, eat at least 2 hours before your race/hard run! Mid-run potty stops are never fun.. especially when there is no bathrooms!
19. Why did you start making running vlogs and/or blogs? I am passionate about running and want to share my experiences with others!
20. Who will you tag? Insane Marathon Runner, Jim Blake.

Garmin

Garmin

IMG_6617 IMG_6666 IMG_6957

Advertisements

Officially a Marathon Runner!

8 Nov

On Sunday I ran my first marathon, therefore, I can officially call myself a marathon runner. Sure, it was cool to be a half marathon runner, but this feels a whole lot better–like I’ve accomplished something really huge in my life. Maybe that’s why people always put, “Run a Marathon” on their bucket list. I am not going to lie, it was the hardest thing I’ve possibly ever physically ever done in my life. Right when I crossed the finish line I said, “I am never doing that again!”. As the days after the race pass by…my soreness is subsiding, I am forgetting the pain and thinking I will actually run one again. My mom compared it to having a baby, according to her: when you are in labor and it is so excruciating, you say you won’t have anymore children, but then comes the 2nd and 3rd child after you forget the pain! Here is a tiny, hopefully not to ramble-y recap of my Almond Bowl Marathon race weekend.

On Friday, I made the three hour drive from San Francisco to Chico. Let me tell you–it looked like my car was packed for two weeks, not two nights! I had my foam roller, three pairs of runnings shoes (don’t ask why), a bag of food, cooler and suitcase. Since I am practically a professional traveler, aka flight attendant, I can pack for a three-day trip with my eyes closed! But, that’s when I am flying and can only bring one suitcase..it’s a whole different story when I have a whole empty Jeep of space to use. When I checked into the Holiday Inn, I immediately brought EVERYTHING up to the room and unpacked like I was staying for a week, here is a picture of my fridge in the hotel room… you know you are a runner when..bananas, peanut butter, oatmeal, gu and pretzels are your staple foods.

IMG_4303

Image

Part of my cheering squad also arrived on Friday, my boyfriend Tom, actually he ran the 5k on Sunday and would be very annoyed if I just classified him as part of the “cheering squad” 🙂 Since we both went to college in Chico we hit-up our favorite pizza place for dinner, Celestino’s, seriously the best thin crust pizza by the slice ever. We even enjoyed a beer to carb-up for Sunday. I’ve heard of drinking a few beers the night or two nights before a race from many runners, it totally works right? Or is it just an excuse to have a beer? HMMM…

Image

On Saturday morning I woke up and headed to Bidwell Park (where the race took place on Sunday) for a 1.5 mile shakeout run. Now, I have run in this park many many many times– since I was a track and field athlete in college this was our main route for long runs, tempos and easy runs. I was, however, extremely nervous to take my first step running Saturday morning. I thought for sure my shins and calf muscles would still be feeling pain. I was pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case, I was pain free! The resting, tart cherry juice, compression sock wearing, KT Taping and icing must have worked. I was beyond excited and had an instant boost of confidence for the race. Saturday afternoon my training partner and friend, Ashley, and her boyfriend arrived in Chico! After picking up our bib numbers we drove them around town for a quick tour (which did not take long since it’s such a small quaint city) I showed them my sorority house, campus and the popular bars.  We then we made our way to Bidwell Park and drove the 13.1 mile loop that we would be running twice the next morning. We drank our water on the drive and laughed nervously about how long it was taking us to drive the course, and how much LONGER it would take us to run it….

Saturday evening we went to the most popular bar in town, Madison Bear Garden, us girls had pitchers of water while the guys had more beer. My parents, AKA the rest of my cheering squad, arrived soon after (so grateful they drove 3 hours to come watch!!) and we all had a good pre-race meal downtown before heading back to the hotel to rest! WITH and extra hour due to daylights savings!

Image

Sunday morning I was up by 6:00 a.m. for a pre-race meal of oatmeal, a banana and a little almond butter. I drank some Gatorade and water, popped a caffeine pill (I heard this helps with endurance..it was my first time trying it and I did not notice much a of a difference compared to having a cup of coffee.) we met everyone in the lobby by 7:20 a.m. and were headed to the park! Tom’s 5K started at 8:00 a.m. and the half marathon and marathon started at 8:10. A few great things about small races: 1. Short port-o-potty lines 2. You can line-up right at the starting line 3. Your spectators/cheering squad is easily visible. 4. Great chances of placing in your age group.

This was the 39th annual Almond Bowl race series in Bidwell Park, the 3rd time it had a full marathon distance. The Chico Running Club does an awesome job of organizing the race with tons of volunteers and aid stations throughout the course. The morning was perfect for running as well. Probably about 50 degrees, just cool enough for gloves, but, warm enough to wear shorts and short sleeves.

FINALLY…the race recap. My goal was a 3:40 marathon, which is about 8:15 pace/mile. Before the race, I chatted with one of the only other ladies around us wearing a marathon bib, everyone else was wearing a half marathon bib numbers. The lady, Natalie, said her best marathon time was 3:42..I thought, “perfect! I will run with her for good pacing..”. This is something I tell my high school cross country athletes not to do; do not pace with someone else because you don’t know if they are having a good day or a bad day, I tell them to run their own pace. So naturally, I went out with Natalie and we became fast friends. Through the first seven miles of the race we chatted about life, teaching, coaching, babies (she just had one 3 months ago! and was already racing!), running, Chico, flying.. before I knew it we had been running sub 8 minute pace/mile that whole time. I was feeling really great! Eating Gu every 30-60 minutes and downing sports drinks at the aid stations. I saw my family cheering at mile 10, I smiled and waved and kept up the pace. I ran with my new friend until about mile 13. I had finished the first half of the race in 1 hour and 43 minutes. Behind my friend Ashley, we were the second and third women to cross the halfway point. I was still feeling good… but I became a little worried that I might have gone out too fast.

I let Natalie go ahead and I slowed down, unwillingly. By mile 16 my legs were heavy and I was pushing a 9 minute/mile pace. I started to get very odd cramps in the arches of my feet. Three women and a few guys passed me. I pushed on at this slower than desired pace and stopped to walk at the aid stations to make sure I was getting the fluids down instead of all over my shirt! As I continued my body started to cramp even more in my calf muscles and quads. It become hard to run with muscles that were constricting..I slowed down even more. At about mile 19, the, “no headphones policy” was getting to me, I wished I had some music to distract me–instead I was talking to myself, swearing, crying, wondering why my body was reacting like this. I realized that it was because I had went out too fast.. At mile 22 I saw my dad walking towards me and he asked if he could run with me. I gladly accepted, we had talked about this in the days leading up to the race, he would be there to run the last part of the race if I needed him..and I DID. He talked me through the painful leg cramps and tears.. I was so thankful that my dad was there trudging along with me at 9-10 minute mile pace for the last 4 miles of the race. By then my goal was just to get under 4 hours, making the second half of the race a lot slower than the first. I finished with a time of 3:51 and third in my age group. I am so proud of this time and for finishing the race. It was a learning experience and I think I’m hooked. Ashley finished with an amazing time of 3:06 about 7:10 pace and 1st female finisher! My friend is stud!

I didn’t want to do ANYTHING after the race except chug sports drinks. We walked slowly to the car, went back to the hotel, showered and packed up. My parents and I had a delicious lunch at Mom’s Diner, a cute little place in downtown Chico. By then I had gotten my appetite back and devoured a grilled cheese sandwich made with smoked gouda (my favorite cheese!) and ham with a side of fries. The waitress even gave me a free mimosa as a congratulations! Thank goodness my mom offered to drive my car home so I could just relax…OH! Before we headed out I had to stop at my all-time favorite fro-yo place, Jon and Bon’s, and get a half peanut butter, half oatmeal cookie flavored yogurt with chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough topping–for the road! It was an amazing treat.

Now, it’s Friday and my legs are almost back to 100%. Monday was the worst day for soreness, I could hardly get out of bed and I was walking slower than my 84 year-old Nonni, who I went to visit in North Beach on Monday. She couldn’t stop laughing at my walking pace and was sure this was the only time she could keep up with me! So embarrassing! I had to call out of work on Tuesday because I was still sore and there was no way I could balance walking around on a plane at 35,000 feet. I went into work Wednesday, just a little sore and even did my first workout since the race..an elliptical workout.. last night. Today I am in Philadelphia on a layover enjoying the cold wintery weather! I’m going to go for a walk around downtown to stretch out my legs further. Hopefully by Monday I can start running again.

The marathon was a true milestone in my life. I am so glad I could share this first experience with a close friend and have so many supporters who love and care for me. Running is truly a unique sport that can be done at any age, no matter when you start. Here are a few more photos from the weekend. Enjoy!

Salmon, rice and veggies! Pre-race meal.

Salmon, rice and veggies! Pre-race meal.

Marathon girls and our guys.

Marathon girls and our guys.

IMG_4453

Tom and I pre-race!

Tom and I pre-race!

Ashley and I rocking our runcoach.com gear.

Ashley and I rocking our runcoach.com gear.

Staring line, right at the front!

Staring line, right at the front!

ready to roll!

ready to roll!

Gun goes off!

Gun goes off!

all smiles at mile 10!

all smiles at mile 10!

FINISHED my first Marathon!

FINISHED my first Marathon!

champs.

champs.

Jon and Bon's post-race fro-yo reward! Yum!

Jon and Bon’s post-race fro-yo reward! Yum!

5 days until RACE DAY..but so much to do!

29 Oct

After my Nike Women’s Half I took it easy for a few days, then jumped back into a few hard training runs before my taper. My taper has gone well so far, on the running side-however, my legs are telling me different. Three weeks ago, after my 20 mile training run and before the Nike Half, I noticed my calves, shins and achilles were all very tight sore and had a dull pain that lingered from when I started a run to when I finished. It wasn’t something that could be shook out or ignored. Howver, I did ignore it and used ice to numb the pain after a run. I raced with a good time, but felt the pain after. I thought it was just tightness from overuse and high mileage, but since the pain has not gone away during the taper I knew it was something else. I coach High School Cross Country on my days off from flying and the kids are always coming down with shin splints and other aches and pains, even one or two stress fractures. It finally dawned on me last night that this is what shin splints feel like and maybe I have them (having been lucky enough to run throughout high school and college and never getting them I had no clue what it felt like.)

I did some research, and while running through shin splints for a race isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s for sure not advisable. I have worked so hard, probably too hard, and I am going to take this week completely off from running. I will try more ice, rest, compression socks, stretching and my new favorite- drinking tart cherry juice to reduce inflammation! Hopefully this will get me to the starting line on Sunday with less pain in my shins and a good race. I will still try for my goal of sub 3:40, but I am mostly trying to finish with a smile!

My friend and I, and our boyfriends, will be heading up to Chico, CA. on Friday for the race weekend. This is a small race, last year I ran the half marathon course, but it will be perfect place to try out the 26.2 mile distance without too much stress of a large crowd.

Wish me luck! Anyone have tips for shin splints? Has anyone run through this type of injury?

KT TAPE recommends taping your shins like this to relax muscles prevent pain.

KT TAPE recommends taping your shins like this to relax muscles and prevent pain.

Taper Time

22 Oct

This week marks the end of a training streak that I never imagined EVER doing in my life. Nine weeks of high-milage marathon training. With a 20 mile run under my belt, two fast-ish half marathons, a long run every Saturday and speed work during the week, THANK GOODNESS the running is lighter these next two weeks. Yippee! That’s right, we are two weeks away from the Almond Bowl Marathon in Chico (my very first full marathon!) and it is taper time.

The two week taper period reduces milage from 40 something a week to around 20 something miles a week, a huge cut back! And what to do with so much extra time? I could bake a million zillion fall pumpkin recipes and stuff my face with huge amounts halloween candy, but that would probably/maybe cancel out some of the hard work put in over the past few months- not good! Instead, I will take this time to concentrate on friends and family (who may feel slightly ignored during this training), get a race strategy ready and make a few yummy pumpkin recipes! My favorite thing to make so far is Protein Pumpkin Chocolate Chips Cookies, the recipe is from my favorite healthy eating web site: Dashing Dish. I also need to restrain myself from buying everything and anything pumpkin that Trader Joe’s puts on the shelves! I mean, where do they come up with this stuff: pumpkin granola, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin greek yogurt, cream cheese, ravioli..the list goes on. Can you tell I’m one of those pumpkin fanatics? Now the goal is not to look like a pumpkin by Thanksgiving!

The one thing I am going to try not to do during these next two weeks is google! Google is the worst when you are worried or anticipating something like your first marathon. There is so much information out there from various sources on what to eat, how to train, how many miles your long run should be, what you should carry with you during the race etc. This running information overload can cause a headache! I am trying to remain positive, keep my goals in mind and stay confident that the 20 mile training run, run a t a very good pace of 8:13, was a long enough run pre-marathon.

SO I mentioned I ran two half marathons during this training period, and they were amazing. No PRs, but I blame the high milage and less half marathon speed work for that, but still decent times. Rock and Roll San Jose 1/2 was on October 6th, I ran this with my brilliant little sister who is so fast I never see her the whole race! Time of 1:40 on a flat course. This was the 4th time I have run this race so I knew the course like the back of my hand. Awesome race for anyone who wants flat flat flat.

The second race was two days ago on October 20th, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco! This was the first time I had done this race and it was so inspiring, especially at the fork in the road when we went to the right to finish the last two miles of our 13.1 and many many women continued to the left of the fork where they went on to run another 15 miles and complete 26.2. Since this race was San Francisco the course had many challenging long uphill battles. Thankfully my marathon training consisted of runs with lot’s of hills. I kept repeating in my head “it’s a hill, get over it!” and sure enough the worst parts weren’t so bad! My sister and many of my friends also competed in this half marathon, and marathon. Such an awesome day with tons of support. Not to mention the swag! We received a Tiffany’s Necklace from a tux clad firefighter at the finish, now that is something to run for! Highly recommend this race if you are looking for a challenge.

And just to brag a little bit, my friend Ashley (brunette in the photos) got 11th place overall out of over 30,000 women with a time of 1:25! My sister placed 27th with a time of 1:29! I placed 232 with a time of 1:41. Another friend of mine, Carrie, ran this race as her first half marathon, EVER, she did awesome with a time of 2:24, very impressive on a hilly course!

I have many many pictures from the two races; I have included a few below. Don’t mind the “this is for marathonfoto.com only” labels, I’m just showing them off not stealing! Nike I am in pink, San Jose I am wearing yellow.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage Image ImageImageImageImageImage

Getting Gutsy

28 Aug

or maybe I’m insane? A few weeks ago I achieved a goal that I had set for myself to attain this October, but I got there a little quicker than planned, I ran sub 1hr 40mins for a Half Marathon! It felt truly wonderful. I’m not sure if it was the miraculous running conditions in Sonoma, CA. at 7:00 a.m., the wine and Mexican food waiting at the finish, or the overall good feeling in my body-not feeling like I was going to die or pass out at any moment of the race! It was the Water to Wine Half Marathon, starting at Lake Sonoma (which I really don’t remember seeing very much of) and finished at the Alderbrooke Winery in Healdsburg. The course consisted of windy roads, vineyards, uphill and downhill terrain. One of my favorite things about this 13.1 mile course was the signs planted on the side of the road at about every half mile. Each sign had a funny, inspirational or cute running quote on it, which helped to take my mind off the distance and race each half mile! Anyways.. after fishing in 1hr 39 mins and 5th in my age group (25-30yrs old) I knew I needed to run further. A full marathon is the next distance on my bucket list. Actually, I don’t have a “bucket list” yet, but that seemed like the right thing to say! Image

Image

Two and a half weeks later I just committed to running 26.2 miles (yikes) by signing up for the Almond Bowl Marathon in Chico, CA. on November 3rd. I did this race last year, the half distance, and it was a flat, scenic course with beautiful fall weather. Now the challenge will be to complete the course twice to make full 26.2 distance. It’s going to take a whole lot of work and determination, but I think I’m ready for the challenge. The hardest part for me is getting motivated for a run that is anything longer than 10 miles! I’ve enlisted some running buddies to help out on those days by running parts of my long run with me so I’m not running the whole 13, 14, 18 ,20 miles alone..wouldn’t that be a bore?

Also- one of my close friends works for RunCoach.com, a web site that created running plans for runners who have a specific race and goal in mind. I gave her my race times from the last few halfs I’ve run and she created a two and a half month plan to get me through my next two half marathons in October (Rock and Roll San Jose 1/2 & Nike Women’s 1/2 SF) and onto the Almond Bowl Marathon in November. Runcoach.com is such a neat site, here is a snap shot of what my training schedule looks like. You can also play around with your own times on their site and see sample plans.

Image

Now that I have a plan, the only thing left to do is stick to it, eat properly and ice/stretch enough to stay healthy. I’ve been doing some research on marathon nutrition and some say since you are burning so many calories training you can eat whatever you want- which I would love to do- but I think I’ll stick with eating the right amount of carbs/protein to refuel after a run, which is 4:1 carbs:protein, and eating enough calories to sustain a healthy body while training! My favorite thing to refuel with after a run is a peanut butter or almond butter and banana protein shake! Here is the recipe below, just blend all the ingredients in a blender and it’s done! You can even make it before your run and stick it in the freezer so it will be available quickly post-run!

PB&Banana Protein Shake:

1 scoop GNC AMP Vanilla Protein Powder

1/2 Banana

1 TBS Peanut or Almond Butter

1 TSP Light Agave Syrup or Honey

1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Dark and Early!

17 May

USUALLY when I wake up at 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. it’s to work a trans-con flight: serving drinks, smiling, checking seat belts and closing overhead bins! This morning I woke up at 4:40 a.m., the butt crack of barely dawn, to RUN 5 miles with my best friend and running buddy. We have been doing this once a week for about 5 months now and still the hardest part is getting out of bed! Once Katie and I meet at her house, all is forgotten that the rest of the world is probably still curled up in their warm beds not even thinking of waking up for at least another precious hour. We run from her house about a half mile to the city park, which has a running path complete with a hill and street lamps, run about 10 laps around the park and back to her house. It’s funny what two girls can chat about at FIVE O’ CLOCK in the morning at a 9 minute/mile pace, let’s just say nothing is off topic, which makes the run that much more enjoyable.

My favorite guilty pleasure after our morning run is crawling back into bed and watching The Today Show (after getting or making coffee and showering- of course!). It may seem a bit lazy of me, especially when I know my running buddy is scrambling to make it to teach her 4th grade class at 7:30! I validate my curling back up in bed, with breakfast, because 9 times out of 10 waking up at 4 a.m. means flying across the country! What’s for breakfast in bed today? I’m trying out Chobani’s new greek yogurt “Flips” in Coconut with Toasted Almonds & Dark Chocolate Chips I added my own Chia seeds as well, I consider this a very healthy post-run meal and very decadent for breakfast in bed- with a side of Starbuck’s coffee! I decided I really need a cup-holder for my queen size bed, do they make these? Or does that just fall into my lazy post-run morning wish list? Image

Well now that you know a little bit about my fabulous morning- what’s going on in my life? I’m still a flight attendant, yes, and this week I just worked two very fun Beauty Expos at SFO and LAX, put on by the company for our employees (flight attendants and ground crews) so we all look as pretty as can be. As I was working I was lured into purchasing a gel manicure kit from nail tech celeb, Katie Cazorla, I really think this is the best purchase I’ve ever made (besides Asics’ running shoes). Not only can I give myself gel manis whenever I please, this product stays on for up to two weeks with no chips, is safe for your nails (unlike salon gel manicures that peel your nails) and it will save me a truck load of money in the long run- you can even use it on your toes! I will do a more detailed post about this product soon. For now, here is photo of my perfect self gel mani!

Image

The girls I worked with at the Beauty Expos! They are all so fun and fabulous!

Image

For the rest of the day I will be hanging out with my funny 84 year-old Nonni, researching and creating a summer half-marathon (and maybe full marathon) training program for myself and looking for the perfect Friday night clean eating meal.

I have been on a clean eating kick for the past few months, still trying to lose the 5 lbs I gained while touring Europe with my guy in February, but I think I’ve just turned the fat into muscle by strength training so the “losing 5 lbs” may be a hopeless cause. I am trying everything I can to do so, I may even switch my non-fat dairy for low-fat or even full-fat dairy to switch things up; according to my fellow flight attendant and nutritional counselor, Kristen, full-fat foods such as milk, yogurt, butter, olive oil, coconut oil actually helps your body burn extra fat and makes you fuller than if you ate the non-fat versions of these foods. She gave me tips on drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper to boast metabolism, using items like chia seeds to help you feel fuller, eating local organic foods that are higher in nutrition than grocery store foods most likely imported from a far away place. But, I’m still a little hesitant to change out all my non-fat foods for full-fat, that’s a huge step and a little nerve racking! For now I will try to use Kristen’s tips and stick to my clean eating diet, which I am getting tons of recipes from Katie at DashingDish.com. This girl seriously kicks butt by creating low-carb, low-sugar, high-protein recipes. I will be using this site to find a recipe for my girly cousin dinner get-together tonight!

I realize I didn’t write too much about running in this post- more about PRs, training and races in my next post! I have a lot to tell about my last half marathon- Rock and Rock San Francisco- where I finished at 1:41, my PR by 4 minutes! The race was quite hilly too! Image

Image

2013 SF Color Run

7 Mar

2013 SF Color Run

I started off my 2013 race season with a very fun, easy 5k. The race was such a “fun run” there wasn’t even timed results! However, there was lots and lots of color.

goal+training+love=PR

7 Nov

Image

I’m back! And frankly- better than ever! I know it has been months upon months since I have posted, but I did not fall off the running/fitness wagon.. I was just quietly working and improving. Since my last post, I have run three half marathons, one triathlon and became an Auntie! This whole flight attendant gig has its’ perks.. time to do other things! Currently I am sitting at Starbucks in DC with my red trench coat draped over the chair next to me, laptop out, coffee and veggie panini at hand, looking very business casual- flight attendant in disguise!

Anyways, back to running: the most trendy, tiring, mentally stressful, yet enjoyable sport around. I mentioned that I was back and better than ever, why you might ask? Running my fasted most efficient half marathon to date has made me feel better than ever (at least for now!). Last Sunday my boyfriend and I competed in the Almond Bowl Run in Chico, CA. There were three races: 5k, 1/2 marathon and full marathon- all run in the infamous Bidwell Park. I PRed by slightly under 3 minutes, with a time of 1:44.56. A little over a year ago I made a goal to run under 1:45, and with a load of training and few other races I have finally achieved this goal! Of course, now the goal has changed to 1:42. Always making new, realistic goals for yourself and reminding yourself of them often is a huge key to success.

I do believe there are other factors besides setting a goal that contribute to earning a PR. A runner must be disciplined, workout hard and try to stick to some kind of training schedule. The training schedule also should include rest at least once or twice a week!

One of the biggest factors to running well is having support. I mentioned my boyfriend ran the half marathon as well, it was his first one! We used each other for support, he would call and let me know how his run went, get excited when his pace improved for a long run and vent when his run wasn’t what he expected. He also got a PR on Sunday since it was his first half marathon! His time wasn’t anything spectacular but for him he accomplished something by crossing the finish line and knowing he had done it. He is even looking ahead to his next half marathon, knowing with more hard work and training he can improve by a lot. I am so proud of him and it makes me happy to know that I encouraged such a great accomplishment, and he supported me as well. Whether it’s your family, boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend every runners needs love and support from somewhere. This almost makes me think running is a team sport, rather than an individual one!

I am looking ahead to my next half marathon as well, the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, San Francisco! This will be the first time Rock and Roll has hosted a marathon in San Francisco, they have taken over what was “The US Half Marathon, The Other Half”. Since this race is right in my own backyard, many friends and family will probably run as well, or just cheer and support! Since the course is notorious for changing elevations, my training plan will need to be built with lots of hill runs and hill repeats! Lots to think about. oh! and I promise not to wait so long before posting again!

Tom & I carb-loading the night before the race. Drinking tons of water and electrolytes too!

Image

Image

ImageImage

Gadgets and Gizmos Aplenty…

15 Jan

I’ve got who-zits and whats-its galore… Yes this title is a reference to one of the most popular Disney movies of the 90’s, The Little Mermaid. I feel a little like Ariel with all of the amazing tech gadgets I use on a daily basis.

Do you remember what it was like to run with no iPod, watch, heart rate monitor, phone, headlamp or ‘holds everything’ race belt? Well, I can vaguely remember… but that’s how it was back in college and high school when coaches restricted what you could bring with you on a run. Now that I’m my own independent runner, and have been for three years, I tend to have at least one or more of these items with me at all times- depending on where and who I’m running with. Sometimes I will have a phone shoved into my race belt for safety, music for entertainment and a watch for pace. Other times, when I just want to enjoy the scenery or talk to a friend, a watch is plenty.

One of these items is brand new to me, the Garmin Forerunner 110. I know it’s been around for awhile BUT I just got one for Christmas! Santa was very good to me this year! Also received  a Lululemon camo print tank, a Nook- for reading on long cross country flights, and two new pairs of Asics (these two I bought with a generous gift card to my local running store)!  Seriously some of the best gifts a runner could ever ask for.

Back to this fabulous piece of technology, the Garmin Forerunner! This gps watch is seriously the BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD! Of course Santa knew I would only wear the pink and grey women’s edition, BUT it is a perfect fit complete with a heart rate monitor that snaps around your chest. I thought the monitor would be uncomfortable but I can barely feel it. This little watch has opened up a whole new world of running for me. I love how you can step out of your house, hotel room or office and literally run anywhere, no mile marks required! I recently took this baby out in San Diego and Seattle, running the courses that I had previously ran, but never knew the exact distance.

It was also a tremendous motivator when running the trail near my house, a course that does have mile marks. The continuous pace tracker (without having to do math!) made me want to speed up and hold a more consistent pace mile by mile. Overall it made the time for my 6 mile run a bit faster than usual.

Absolutely psyched to start training for The Divas Half Marathon (which is May 6th in the San Francisco Bay Area) with my Garmin as my new running buddy. Not to replace any fabulous running friends, just a great addition to our runs.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION: Keep a daily log of all runs and workouts! This seems like a no brainer, but making it a resolution will make me actually do it. The Garmin Forerunner also connects to your computer so you can download all the runs saved on the watch to a program on your computer, perfection.

OH! And some of you may be wondering why I needed two new pairs of Asics? The first pair, 2170 model, is the pair I use on the daily for trail and road runs, just needed a new pair of those due to wear and tear on my last pair. The second pair is the Asics DS Trainer model. I have not worn this type of shoe since I did track workouts in college, but since I will be coaching and doing speedy track workouts with my high school team I better invest in a light, fast pair of shoes! Keeping up with 16 year olds is tough business!

The shoes do happen to be completely pink, that might have pushed me into buying two pairs! Check out the pictures of the new gear below 🙂

Happy Running!!

DS Trainers (right) 2170s (left) cute cute cute

Garmin Forerunner 110..best thing since sliced bread!

Wearing cold weather running gear in Seattle! Brrrr...chilly 6.5 miler.

Lululemon Camo print Tank

Celebrating 2012 in style!

Racing in a Winter Runnerland..

20 Dec

Before I start this post I just have to inform you: I am currently sitting on a Virgin plane, sipping a mimosa, using the internet, watching E! and enjoying every minute of not having to work this flight to DC. The boyfriend and I are heading to DC/Virginia Beach to spend a few days with his family, he will stay for Christmas and I’ll be back in SF to spend it with my family. He got a load of my family last night in the SF Bay Area at a bar watching the 49ers game. Classy I know.

Ok, so I’ve been bitten by the holiday bug! Christmas songs have been stuck in my head for the past week, I have baked sugar cookies and made pastacio cherry bark for friends and family, shopped til I dropped (well til my mouth dropped at my credit card bill), wrapped gifts and decorated the house. December is a seriously fun time to reconnect with friends and family, and a seriously good time for an awesome holiday themed race!

Since my last post (I know, it’s been a while!!) I DID sign up for a race, did some amazing training runs and ran the race last Saturday. It was the Jack Frost 10k in Chico, CA. I took advantage of visiting my oh-so-sweet boyfriend in Chico and competed in the small town 10k. At just 300 hundred people this race was tiny yet challenging. It was held at the famous Bidwell Park, which happens to be where the 1938 classic The Adventures of Robinhood  was filmed, so needless to say the scenery was very pretty. PERKS: Santa Hats instead of medals, part of registration is a toy donation,
donuts and coffee at the finish, fitted gender based Brooks runnings Ts and a course that was a mix of dirt trail and paved road.

Since it was such a small race, the runners were all very spread out. You had your typical holiday fun run crowd: the ‘serious runners who finish well ahead of everyone’, the ‘I am a daily runner and trained for this race’ crowd, the joggers, the walkers, the baby strollers and over the hill crowds.

I was at the front of the ‘I am a daily runner and trained for this race crowd’ and so was an anti-social runner. Come on, we were pretty much running together from mile 3 to mile 5.5.  Both running without music, both running at a tad bit under 8 minute miles and slightly competing with each other, so why not make friends. I went in with “You are so smart to wear racing flats, those look so light and cute.” Yep, I complemented her running shoes (the ultimate pretty runner move) and what did I get in return? “o, yeah, they aren’t flats.” and she trotted a few steps in front of me. But, I stayed right on her tail and a half mile later we were running besides each other once again. With no music we could obviously hear each other breathing and I thought it would just be better to make friends than enemies, so I made one more comment, “Wow that was a long mile.” But, I got nothing in return, so with a half mile to go I decided to smoke her. I took off with a sprint and didn’t look back. It’s ok to pace with someone during the race, but the end is the end, especially if your pacer is an anti-social runner. I might have felt a little more remorse for flying by her at lightning speed with 800 meters to go if we would have made friends during the race… just maybe.

I finished as the 15th woman out of about 200. 53rd overall. 49 minutes!

What does a pretty runner do the day before the holiday fun run?

1. I got my hair done. Went with some highlights and a few natural lowlights for the winter.

2. Baked cookies. Sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, trees, presents, reindeer and santas! (I won’t show you a picture because it looked like a 5 year old decorated them, but they tasted good anyways!!)

3. Picked up the race number and a few Christmas gifts for my running family.

4. Did a little Christmas shopping.

5. Made a healthy dinner and watched a movie with the boy.

Holiday races are meant to be fun.. so go out and sign up for one. There are many many New Years Day runs!! Such a popular day to start a resolution with a 5 or 10k fun run… if you aren’t too hungover from the night before! 😉

Merry Christmas & Happy Running!!