Hi All! Not sure if anyone is new here, but I am training for my first marathon, it is the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon. Where there will be HILLS galore. I am nervous and excited- more excited and ready to see what my body is capable of. I have always always wanted to run a marathon- even though when I was younger I could barely run a mile on my own. Not because I was fat or overweight or unmotivated, mostly because I have always been a sprinter. Never long distance. And that all changed at 28 years old. Fast forward 2 years and here I am training for my first marathon! I am relearning methods and correct ways to train and trying to gather as much info as possible. If you have any questions, comments, corrections.. feel free to share them!!
Monday- Plan: 3mi EASY Actual:3.02 miles Ran with Hendrix in the stroller… he really is getting too big for it! It makes me super sad too! He is asking to run along with me, but he can’t run for very long/far yet so it’s hard to let him do that when I am training for something specific. And it sucks to say no to him to run. HR is not correct, although I would like it to be, I don’t believe this is true. After some research and talking to some other pro’s we have determined that the HRM on the watch is not accurate.
Tuesday- Plan: XT (cycle 10 miles) Actual: I wanted to do 10 miles, I only had 25 ish minutes though… so I cranked out 5 miles and also made it to 300 miles for RTY! (run the year) so that is great! As you can tell, I actually have makeup on lol so I was trying soooo hard to not sweat too much and ruin it.
Wednesday- Plan: 1 mile warm up, 4×3 min at 9:20-9:45, 3 min recover, 1 mile cool down. ~4 miles total Actual: felt really good and comfortable- I do have a nasty blister forming on the bottom of my right big toe, though! I think it has something to do with the boots I wore the other day combined with rubbing of socks yesterday. Tender after the workout, but not too bad the following day! I kept going a bit too fast and having to slow it down, but all in all my GMP (goal marathon pace) is spot on. If I wasn’t strapped for time I would have wanted to keep going. 4.43 miles total @ 10/mi WORKOUT AND SPLITS 1 mi warm up @ 10:14/mi 4 GMP splits for 3min: 9:51/ 9:30/ 9:44/ 9:43 4 recovery for 3min: 9:48/ 10:03/ 10:03/ 10:12 1 mi cool down @ 10:05/mi
Thursday- Plan: 3mi EASY Actual: 3.09 miles of pure bliss. I am really enjoying these easy days and just going, the pace feels way more familiar and it’s just nice to get out for a little bit in the sun. Can’t wait till spring… and then SUMMMERRRRR!!!
Friday- Plan: XT/REST (cycle) Actual: 6 miles on the bike + kettlebell abs I always find it hard to find the time to do other workouts besides cardio but I really need to put that time aside. It’s so important to use weights as a way of preventing injuries!! Gotta keep it going, my obliques are SINGING after this workout!! 😤
Saturday- Plan: 9mi Long Run Actual: date day! Pushing the run to Sunday morning 😊👌🏽tried to go bowling… the wait was over an hour, then tried to see a movie but nothing sparked our interest. So we just went shopping haha.
Sunday- Plan: REST Actual: 9 miles with Courtney! (No pic with her 😔) but she came to pick me up at 7am (god bless her) and we drove down to Encinitas and ran back to my house. She isn’t the best at pacing so I paced us, we talked non stop- which is probably why my HR was a little higher than expected, but nonetheless it was FUN! Courtney is such an awesome soul and so up for anything, I love it! We ran through Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad and then into Oceanside. We tried one of my gels from Science in Sport (Apple for me and Lemon lime for Courtney) and they went down really well! Not as thick as the honey stinger ones and kept energy levels up without like making us feel like we were bouncing off the walls. And no GI issues! Win win! These will be on the course for the marathon so I bought a sample pack to try. Just need to remember to be careful when taking first gulp because the mouth piece is wide and I cut the inside of my cheek! Not too bad, but just a note of caution.
Quick stop at home for the bathroom and then drove back to get Courtney’s car and some much needed brunch! Salivating over eggs lately so we stopped at a place called “Nectarine Grove” that was all farm to table and organic (which wasn’t something we are hell bent on, but it’s Encinitas so that’s what they are all about) anyway! Delicious egg and bacon sandwich! Followed up the breakfast with meeting up with Christine and her puppy Luca for a 2 mile hike. (No pics 😕) but he is so cute!! Also nursing some blisters on my toes from my socks… think they were rubbing my toes and now I’ve got THREE blisters!
I am not lacking in motivation OR determination to get my workouts done. That I think I have covered… pretty well. I am consumed by miles and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. What am I missing? NUTRITION!!
I really want to get my nutrition on track, I find myself grabbing snacks way too often- and if I pack crap for lunch, I will eat it all. I am a big believer in small steps. So, here is what I am doing and what I plan to do to get me back on track/ on a track I have never actually been on! (semi truth)
My goal is NOT to lose weight, where prior diet goals I did and I only focused on how many calories I was consuming. (no extreme dieting for me, just making sure I wasn’t going overboard) My goal is to make sure I am properly nourished for my runs and not overdoing it on chocolate and salty snacks. Salt really affects me- not only does it make me puffy, it just makes me a grouch and not as happy. (maybe this is all in my head, but I am not enjoying myself when I am full of salt)
I want to incorporate more veggies into my diet. I want to stop eating so late at night when I AM NOT EVEN HUNGRY! If I were hungry, I wouldn’t deprive myself. However, I find that we are watching TV and cookies sound good, and then there goes a whole sleeve of girlscout cookies.. and I can just feel the extra of the snacks the next day. So, I want to get ahead of this and do something about it!
Here is my plan, small changes: 🙂 1. eat oatmeal in the morning (if hungry) to stave off eating crap mid morning 2. cut back on sugar in coffee 3. pack banana and oranges for snack 4. include at least 1 salad for either appetizer, lunch or dinner 5. protein drink for that 2pm semi hunger/ chocolate need 6. consciously understand that after 7:30pm no more food. which means, EAT DINNER BEFORE 7PM! (I don’t like eating dinner late at night, but sometimes it happens)
I have noticed myself being more snacky than normal. Or just really thirsty! And water isn’t cutting it, so I got some low-cal drink mixes that mix right into water. It should help some, but still need to watch on the sugar!
Ultimately, I don’t want to gain that marathon 5-10lbs. But if it happens, I will know that it is probably muscle… if I stick to the above and not eat tons of cookies and chocolate.
What do you do to curb your appetite when you’re training? How do you snack? How do you get your protein? What are you tricks!?
3.5 more months until the marathon! I can’t believe it! I mean, wow, a whole month has already gone by?!
Monday- Plan: 3 miles easy + 3 100m strides at 5k-10k effort and kettle bell workout! Actual: 3.08 mi EASY (average pace 11:07/mi) it was really boring, I did it on the treadmill, but what was the WORST part was that there was no air circulation and I couldn’t open the window. Avg HR: 151, max HR: 161 And then I did a fun and fast kettle bell work out!
Tuesday- Plan: Cross train Actual: REST … I really really wanted to bike and get some of the soreness and lactic acid out of my legs, but I couldn’t make it to the gym. I went to lunch with an old work colleague, stuffed ourselves with Indian food and left happy.
Wednesday- Plan: 4 mi easy with 6 hill sprints Actual: switched it up to an intense treadmill workout provided by Meg Takacs. While I do not train with her anymore, I do want to go back. I loved her vibe, workouts and energy levels. She keeps it real and I think if we lived in the same state (currently on opposite sides of the country!) we could be good friends. At least, that is what I would like to think. Unfortunately my Garmin didn’t want to track the treadmill workout and shows I ran just over 1 mile in 40 minutes. FAIL!
Thursday- Plan: 3 miles easy Actual: 3.17 mi trail easy run. This run felt really good and fun! Must have also helped listening to such a cute book on tape!! “Waiting for Tom Hanks” by Kerry Winfrey- if you love romantic comedies- read/listen to this book!! So cute! >> back to running… I am still continuing to do a forefront/ midfoot strike- which is awesome! When I do try to switch back to heel strike (out of laziness or just “resting”) it feels ALL wrong. So, I guess that is good! Still waiting for my HR to allow me to go faster… I am getting impatient. (it’s only been a whopping 1.5 weeks though, so patience is needed)
Friday- Plan: Rest/ Cross train (biking!) Actual: too busy with Valentine’s Day but was really really hoping to bike 🙁 will make it a priority next week to bike more!!
Saturday- Plan: 5 miles easy Actual: SKIPPEDAND SWITCHED TO SUNDAY! We went to Monster Jam for our son’s birthday. It was INTENSE! We were there from 2:30pm to 9:30pm!! Pit pass first to meet the drivers and get his trucks signed and then to the actual show at 7pm. I was EXHAUSTED. He was EXHAUSTED. We were all quite dead. But, my makeup and hair held up so well! Really impressed- I actually put on makeup for one instead of just mascara, and I must say… I should put in some more work more frequently!
Sunday- Plan: REST Actual: 5 miles running to Tamarack and back. It felt GOOD. I am starting to really know what pace to hit to keep a LHR, but by mile 4 or so I was having major difficulties keeping it low. And I wasn’t picking up pace at all, so not sure what that was about. It was a beautiful day and felt good to be moving!!
Running is HARD on the body and the mind. And I am realizing that with the increase in mileage, I want to make sure my body is healing properly. The first steps? Making sure I recovery well with sleep, good food, hydration, stretching, foam rolling. Even with those things I feel like my body is lacking something. My bones feel brittle- if you can even feel such a thing. I am a (huge) worry wart, and I fear that my bones will snap when I run sometimes. Do you take supplements? I am looking into taking some more vitamins, I think it’s important that if you can’t get all the nutrients from your food source, you should supplement. Marathon training is DEMANDING. And I am going to cross that finish line with a smile on my face. This week kicks off me working my heart rate effort, challenge: keep heart rate (HR) under 150. This challenge was given to me after I completed Monday’s run.
Monday- Plan: 3mi Actual: 3 mi @ 9:48/mi pace. Trail run for lunch, mid-foot strike for 85% of it. I had small aches and pains in my legs/foot area which worry me! Tried new pair of New Balance Vongo 3’s (same as the purple ones) but got a second pair as to not wear them out too much. average HR: 155
Tuesday- Plan: Cross train/ Rest Actual: REST (I’ve been so unbelievably tired this week, I couldn’t wake up!)
Wednesday- Plan: 4mi EASY pace with 4-6 hill sprints Actual: 5.05 miles total at 11:03/mi pace (goal: keep heart rate under 150) with 6 hill sprints at 4:48/mi! calculated out, this is like going 13-14 on a treadmill! avg HR: 148! It was more of a mental challenge than physical, I know I can run faster, but I needed to keep my HR down, so I had to swallow my “pride” and run slower than I normally ever would. At first I hated having people pass me all the time, I felt like I was barely moving. But, I stuck to the plan. I made my watch only show HR and not pace, so I didn’t have to see just how slow I was moving.
Thursday- Plan: 3mi Actual: Pilates + hip strengthening ended up booking a Pilates class today which was fun and cool to target individual leg muscles!
Friday- Plan: Cross train Actual: 3.1 miles at 11:04/mi. Avg HR: 155 trail run- I hear stories that HR training is really good! And it helps train your body to work better when you run faster. And eventually I can run faster and keep my heart rate lower. I have to admit this is so hard for me to do. It’s hard for me to accept that I’ve been so used to running with a high HR and considering my runs to be easy. But they weren’t. It lead to me feeling exhausted. And when I think further into it, my goal pace for the marathon is 9:25-9:50/mi. A long run is supposed to be 90-120 seconds slower than your goal pace. That means my easy runs SHOULD be 11-12/mi pace! 🤯 this slow pace makes me feel like I’m basically walking. But I’ve been able to really focus on my form and landing on my forefoot/mid foot strike.
Saturday- Plan: 7mi Actual: 7.18mi @ 12:08/mi with HR of 146 it was especially hard doing this long run so slow when I know I could have finished this in just over an hour. But I kept repeating to myself to trust the process. My body needs to learn how to work at different speeds and push the blood flow through. This training is helping my body acclimate to faster paces without tiring myself out.
After long run we went hiking at Annie’s Canyon Trail where garmin didn’t record our elevation or actual movement 🤦🏻♀️ super fail. Which means if I want to do trail running I definitely need a different watch!
Monday- Plan: 3 miles easy Actual: 3 mi “easy” but it didn’t feel so easy. My legs were a little heavy, I wish I wore gloves because my hands freeze and I really just didn’t want to be out there. But I got it done, I didn’t look at my pace because I felt like I was running through jello. (really slow) Sometimes I feel like I am just running slow, but the pace isn’t that bad. I averaged about 9:10/mi pace. AND NEGATIVE SPLITS! Ran almost to the pier and then back home. Splits were: 9:22 , 9:10 , 9:05
Had a very weird/scary situation happen on my way home. As you can see it is DARK, dawn was coming up when I was about a quarter mile from my house, and a car pulled over in front of me and just sat there. This isn’t too uncommon as we are RIGHT next to the beach, but this guy didn’t get out to check the waves, so I was very cautious and didn’t want to run right next to the car. I picked up my pace and about 50ft from the car I crossed the street. I could hear him shout out his window asking for “directions.” “excuse, miss? can you help me..?” I didn’t give him a glance or acknowledgement, I picked up the pace more and headed towards home. He slowly crept past me as I hit the train tracks and got in front, but probably didn’t realize I was so close to my own house. He didn’t see where I went, but he did go down the alley behind my house. So I will be watchful of this guy. Maybe he meant no harm, but no one needs directions when google maps is on your phone. He doesn’t need to be pulling over for a single lady running during the dawn hours scaring her either. (If you are curious on how to stay safe running in the dark, please see my new post!)
Tuesday- Plan: REST/XT Actual: I was hoping to go to the gym and cycle 12 miles… why? Because I want to hit 200 miles before January is over. (200 miles includes, cycling, walking and running) but I was tired and we didn’t go to bed till late, so I cancelled the gym session and figured if I felt like running at lunch I would. Today turned out to be a great warm day for a run. I logged in 2 easy miles and really surprised myself with pace. I also focused on mid-foot strike and it really eased the discomfort in my knees! It was like something clicked and it was really easy to hit faster paces. In fact my second mile I ran in like 8:16/mi! I also did some strength training believe it or not! I got some push ups, tricep dips, lunges and squats in! Not many, but like 10-20 or so of each. Oh! Plus calf raises.
Wednesday- Plan: 3 miles Steady (10K pace) changed by coach to: 1 mi warm up, 1-2 mi GMP (goal marathon pace), 1mi cool down [GMP is 9:20/mi-9:50/mi] Actual: 4 miles in total! 1mi warm up/ 2 mi GMP/ 1mi cool down. My shins and feet hurt a bit actually, and as much as I tried to do a mid-foot strike, my body was just not having it. I tried not to go too hard on the heel striking. Seems the arches of my feet and the balls of them HURT!
Thursday- Plan: 3 miles easy Actual: Unscheduled REST DAY! My feet and legshurt, I woke up limping slightly and decided I would not be running at all today. Sometimes your body just needs to REST. Of course I couldn’t just do NOTHING, so I did some hip and glute strengthening at night. Donkey kicks, fire hydrants, clams and crab walk (all with resistant band) plus lots of icing my shins while watching Free Willy. I am NOT playing around, I am going to THRIVE in this training cycle and I will listen to my body and do what it needs to be able to make it to the finish line.
Friday- Plan: Rest/ XT Actual: SWIM, BIKE, SAUNA! Swam for ~30min doing laps, mixing it up with freestyle, water running and backstroke. I am NOT a strong swimmer but it’s a really good workout and good for cross training. I needed to do something active and let my legs still get a workout without pounding the pavement. I wanted another day off from running. Originally I was really nervous to get in the pool, there were quite a few people there lounging around and soaking up the sun. (I went to a resort nearby that my parents have a timeshare to) but I worked up the courage and jumped in, if people wanted to judge me they could. I have an agenda! After swimming for 30 minutes, and seriously getting a good work out! I went to sit in the sauna, but it wouldn’t heat up! Lol so I dressed and got on the bike and bikes for almost 6 miles then tried the sauna again and it had heated up! So I relaxed in there, did a little yoga and rested my legs. I feel quite refreshed and felt like I did a spa day!
Saturday- Plan: 6 miles long run Actual: 6mi at 9:56/ mi and a fun hike with the bubs! It is hard to stay slow but today felt really good. Sometimes it seems running faster is easier! Rest days are so needed, and Thursdays and Friday not running was perfect. Legs feel great!
First things first, when it comes to winter time, you will most likely have to run in the dark. These are the things that I do… as I often find myself running early in the a$$ mornings.
Wear visible colors and/or reflective gear- I often wear a bright green (light) jacket.. which I am sure you have noticed in a lot of my pictures. I also try to find reflective gear, or use reflective tape on items of clothing to make sure I am visible. I can’t stress this enough that wearing all black or blue WE CAN’T SEE YOU! In fact I pass by quite a few people who are in dark colors running early in the morning and they scare me because I can’t see them at all. And I am just running! Imagine a car!
Wear a light up running vest, I got mine from NoxGear and absolutely love it!
Make sure to tell your partner, friends, roommate (whoever!!) exactly where you are going and when to expect you back. Each night while I am laying out my clothes and gear I tell Jesse exactly where I plan on going and a time frame (usually a 5-10 min range) of when to expect me back. eg. “I am leaving the house around 5:30am, I have to go for a 6 mile run, headed towards the pier and should be home no later than 6:40!” I always add a couple minutes because I like stopping and getting a picture and that eats up more time than you think!
Head lamp- when I know the sun isn’t popping up for a while, I wear my head lamp, which sometimes gets annoying, but it allows me to see where I am going and also alerts others to where I am.
NO HEADPHONES! I don’t wear my headphones in the dark because I want to be able to hear things around me. I usually have music on but just let it play over the speaker.
Run against traffic, even on the side walk- this allows you to see oncoming traffic and get out of the way if someone is not paying attention and drifts onto the sidewalk!
Run a path that is lit with streetlights or you know very well! This is not the time to decide to try a new route!
Switch up your routes, do not go on the same route every day, IF someone is watching they will know exactly when they could attack if needed.
Carry your phone at all times! This is important and helpful, not only for GPS but if something were to happen you could use it to call for help. Or use it to throw at someone if needed.. expensive replacement, but I would rather lose my phone by hitting someone in the head with it than get taken/attacked.
Listen to your GUT! if you have a bad feeling about a certain street/ person you are passing.. anything, honor it! Follow your gut and cut the run short, speed it up or just don’t go out.
It’s hard to believe its only week 2… I’m diving all in for this and living, breathing and sleeping all things marathon. I’ve found it hard to scale back and do short runs. Which might be why I took it too far on Saturday, but now that it’s Sunday night I really feel great. I do want to make strength training more of a priority as well as stretching and foam rolling.
Monday- Plan: 3 miles EASY paced Actual: 3.12 miles at 9:03/mi average. I didn’t look at my watch for pace, just kept focusing on running and it felt really good and almost effortless. I was unable to run slower- possibly due to it being cold, but my legs felt good. It was a good shake out workout. In the evening I did a little yoga and stretched and focused on some hip strengthening exercises. After my last email write up (to coach) exclaiming how tight my hips felt after the long run on Saturday he sent me some exercises to do 2-3x a week.
Tuesday- Plan: Cross Train Actual: Spin class at a studio I have never been to, Fortis & YogaLux. I question the accuracy of the speedometers/ distance trackers as it says I cycled 12.3 miles. But, I’ll take it! I would give this a 5/10 for a class, the room was so small.. unfortunately the teach was a huge Justin Bieber fan (which I could really do without) and she just shouted over the music. I did get a good work out in, but my head was pounding after from listening to loud music and the instructor shouting out directions. I am more used to Rush Cycle (looooove this studio) and their very motivated speeches they do throughout the class.
Wednesday- Plan: 4 miles (1 mi warm up/ 3x800m @ 8/mi pace with 400m rests in between/ 1.25 mi cool down) Actual: didn’t go as to plan as I wanted, but I did it! with some tweaks 🙂 TREADMILL INTERVAL RUN: 1 mi warm up at 6.5 800m at 7.8 400m rest at 3.5 800m – (400m at 7.8/ 30 second rest due to cramping of left calf/shin hurt/ 400m at 7.5 400m rest at 3.5 800m at 7.6 (no more pain) 1200m at 6.5 cool down/ 300m at 5.5/ 100m at 3.5 Then, I tried to do some strength training.. got some abs work in and tried to incorporate some sumo squats but my knee started hurting. So focused on hip strengthening exercises. **my hunger has definitely increased in the last couple of weeks!!**
Thursday- Plan: 3 miles EASY paced Actual: 3 mile trail run near work. I am starting to really enjoy #runches (when you run during lunch) It is southern California, end of January and we are hitting 68 degrees, which will certainly make me get a sweat on during lunch as I get HOT when I run. But, I love doing these, and am super thankful to have a trail nearby that is relatively easy. Average pace was 9:52 In the evening I found my resistance bands and did some lower body strengthening and stretching.
Friday-Plan: REST Actual- RESSSTTTTT! My legs hurt, my arms hurt from spin class (with little teeny tiny 2 pound weights), my butt hurts from strength training, my calves are tight. Tonight I shall stretch and foam roll.
Saturday- Plan: 6 miles long run- 1-2 miles run with Sola and undisclosed amount of time on trails with Courtney
Actual: 5.12 miles with Sola on semi paved trail that didn’t have many hills. She was awesome, her first run OUTSIDE and run she chose a trail run. Beginner in running but enjoying the journey (I hope) we did walk run intervals and she kept a really good pace!! 10 min/mi when running while carrying a back pack of water- she thought she would need a lot and over prepared… it happens though 🤷🏻♀️
Then I met Courtney at noon to do a “real trail run” and by real I mean we ran up a whole damn mountain, but I had to walk a bit because I was tired haha. It was a gorgeous day out! Only about 67 degrees but the sun was shining so bright! It was a really gorgeous day. I definitely got 2-3 shades darker and I even used mass amounts of sunscreen. Afterwards Courtney made me a delicious green smoothie with kale, spinach, protein powder, oat milk, blueberries and raspberries. FIRST time trying oat milk… I enjoyed it! And the smoothie was really delicious too!
This past weekend was my first time cheering on other runners. I knew some things that I liked when I raced and things I hated.. for instance…
I do not like when people only cheer for the ones they know. It kinda sucks, they are just silent watching you run by and don’t say anything kind to you or even smile! If you are out there supporting runners, support everyone. Use their name if it printed on their bib, smile at them, tell them they are killing it! I saw first hand so many people light up during this run when I was telling them good job and letting them know they looked STRONG! One word I liked to use- strong, “you are looking strong!” feed the confidence a little, make them believe it!
We strategically placed ourselves at mile 11 for the half marathon, this was Courtney’s request. She knew that she was going to need support at that mile and we were there and didn’t disappoint. Hendrix wanted to dress as Bumblebee from Transformers which made him happy he got to dress up, but also put a smile on a lot of runners faces. When we saw Courtney she even stopped and said hi, gave Hendrix a high five and then ran off. She’s my hero, she absolutely KILLED IT.
Also, I would like to point out that we made sure to tell Courtney exactly what we were wearing and where we would be so that she knew where to look for us. I told her I would be in a bright green top, Hendrix would be Bumblebee and we would be right after the water station on mile 11. I wanted to place us after the water so that we didn’t cause a pile up before it. Part of the race we were in the middle of the intersection cheering on the marathoners, and the second half we were by the street for the half marathoners. There were different routes! Got a little confusing at first.
I like when spectators have music playing, they aren’t worried about looking stupid, and they shout as loud as they can. We didn’t have music playing, but we were sure shouting out compliments to everyone.
And (un)surprisingly, the signs were HUGE hits. A lot of runners loved the “touch here for a speed boost” more than I thought would.. and it seemed like once someone saw the person in front of them touch it, they lost their “embarrassment” and just went ahead and did it.
Christine was also placed at mile 25 for the full marathon and was handing out beers, to which she said went really well!
I am jumping right into marathon training after my 10K PR! Why? I need 18 weeks to build up the stamina and mental toughness to complete 26.2 miles. I am surrendering to the Running Gods and tucking my ego in my back pocket. I have never run this far, and my pace will be much slower than what I ran for the 10K. How slow? Not sure yet… we will be figuring this out shortly!
Monday- Plan: Yoga Class to unlock my athletic potential Actual: Kundalini yoga class where we focused a lot on breathing. I focused on my muscles, my mental health and picturing myself running. Honestly, I flashed back to Brittany Runs a Marathon and the little montage of her running in the very beginning trying to build up the blocks of running. It was peaceful, but not as much flow as I thought.
Tuesday- Plan: 3 miles EASY and strength training (abs and legs) Actual: SKIPPED! After speaking to my coach, we determined that we needed to change the schedule, Tuesdays being my longest working day (15 hours) there was no logical reason to also put in another 30min-1hr of running into that if I wanted to survive this cycle. And I am glad in the end I didn’t push myself to run because I ended up having to move our bed and couch back into the new renovated house late last night.
Wednesday- Plan: 3 miles EASY and stretch and Les Mills Sprint (cycling) class for 30 minutes in the afternoon Actual: 3.21 amazing miles in the morning, my legs felt good and rested despite my left calf being a little tight the last couple of days. It was cold, 42 degrees, and I got to try my new cold weather headband that covers my ears and it was fantastic! Afternoon: Les Mills Sprint class! 30 minutes of Tabata cycling… this was my first time doing tabata anything really, and it was interesting. My legs were definitely feeling it!
Thursday: Plan: 3 miles EASY Actual:RUNCH RUN! 3.25 miles, my legs felt a little heavy from yesterdays double activity. I wore my compression socks all day, which did help a bit. I ended up at the trail near my work and got in some good hill work and ran around. I focused on breathing, keeping is slow and steady and just enjoying my time. Tried not to focus too much on pace. Paying more attention to heart rate and cadence and learning more about the stats Garmin can provide! It’s so interesting! Even got a CLEAR shot of me #runningselfies
Saturday: Plan: 13.1 miles to raise money for the Australian Bush Fires Actual: 13.1 miles at 9:45/mi average pace this was by far the best run I’ve had in a while. Everything seemed to go to plan despite the weird start this morning. We had misplaced the peanut butter and my running fuel, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make it the whole way, but then Jesse found it hidden in our room under a pile of clothes. (Messy people! Lol) anyways, I ran from our house 6.7 miles to Ponto beach and back. I was able to sing to my music the whole time 😱, I stopped once to go to the bathroom at mile 1.5 and take off my jacket. Overall, my fitness has improved immensely in the last few months and I’m really excited to see what else I can do!
Sunday: Cheering on Courtney at her half marathon! It went so well and we had so much fun! Courtney PR’d by 14 minutes!!!
As you all know I had a few bad runs this week that left me second guessing EVERYTHING! But here’s my story of race day.
Let’s start off by saying, I did focus on sleep all week and then recovery the last part… thank goodness!
Friday afternoon- I left 2 hours early from work, went home to pick up Jesse and then off to Road Runner Sports in San Diego to pick up my bib packet, where we were stuck in so much traffic! 😩 then we had to drive another 30 minutes to the hotel to meet my mom and Hendrix who were waiting for us. Finally we arrived and started to unpack. I tossed and turned all Friday night, didn’t get much sleep at all and was up around 2am laying in the dark.
NIGHT BEFORE RACE- I track my food intake, to make sure calories aren’t just empty snacking but also it helps to see what I’ve been eating before really good runs or long runs. And I noticed every time I had Panda Express 🤦🏻♀️ I had some spectacular runs the next day. Hitting paces I would only dream of… so off we went to get some panda. My normal order is white rice, chow mein, orange chicken and beef with broccoli. I do NOT eat the whole thing, not even close to half of it usually. But I do fuel up. And I was extra hungry that night but also kept it in check, didn’t want to go super heavy and then feel like crap the next morning. I drank a lot of water and set out my clothes. I put my fuel in my belt and set out my morning breakfast to have ready.
RACE DAY MORNING- I did not sleep well, I was up tossing and turning around 2am… We finally got up around 5:45am and started getting ready. It was FREEZING. Barely 40 degrees outside I was contemplating changing my whole race day outfit because it was so cold. But, I heat up quickly while running…. if it’s one thing that we all know (Courtney and Christine) I sweat like crazy and get hot super quick. They both warned me I would warm up and to stick with my planned outfit. I dropped in my energy nuun hydration tablet into a cup of water and let it fizzle and dissolve, I have found that you can’t drink it right away or you will get all the carbonation and it will make me too burpy and crampy (learned this during my half marathon last year!) I got dressed and put on my throw away layers as well to stay warm. Then put my hair up (looks like a hot mess below)
I had been practicing with eating a 1/2 plain bagel with peanut butter about 1-1.5 hrs before long runs, so I stuck with what my body could handle. It’s super important to practice eating during training so you know what your stomach can handle and what it can’t! I try to stay away from coffee before running because it will either make me poop or have to pee 1,000 times! And I couldn’t be stopping to pee or poop during this race!! #goalsgoalsgoals
At 6:40ish we all got packed up and out the door to the car. We were only about ten minutes away so it wasn’t too bad of a drive, and arrived 6:55am. I quickly realized we were cutting it super close!! I fast walked my butt to the start and tried waiting in line for the bathrooms but the lines were so long and they were calling the 10K Runner’s to the starting line already. I gave up trying to wait because I knew I needed a good spot. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t know race etiquette and just try to go to the front even if they are running slow or walking. Honestly, nothing wrong with running “slow” or whatever pace you are, but it is important and safe to understand the corral system. The proper thing is to line up in corrals. But this race doesn’t have them. Last year I got stuck behind a lot of walkers and had to dodge in between them and it took a lot of work and made me exert too much energy. This time I walked up to the front and asked some people around me their goal paces. Unfortunately everyone I spoke to didn’t know the etiquette and said 12+ min/mi. They should’ve been in the very back. But that’s ok! I didn’t think about it, but I also didn’t say good luck! 😕oops!!
As we were waiting for the announcer to let us know it was time to go I was listening to music getting in the mindset. I knew this race would hurt, it would push me to points I hadn’t been to before, I was going to want to give up but I knew I couldn’t. I went through my training and recited the kind words the girls (Courtney and Christine) said to me that morning and night before and looked down.
Once it was time to go I started out fast, the ladies I had my eyes on were FAST, too fast to follow and I quickly found that out. I looked down at my watch to see 7:24 min/mi and knew I couldn’t maintain that pace, but also I remembered reading online that when racing your body should be in charge, not your mind! By looking down at your pace too often you were sabotaging yourself. So I quit looking at my watch and just went with it, I pushed myself hard knowing this was not going to be a comfortable race, but it also shouldn’t feel like I was “dying”. Around mile 2, I was hurting and so worried I didn’t think I could make it 4.2 more miles. I had a handheld water bottle with me and completely forgot until I got to the first water station. After realizing I can drink whenever I wanted and didn’t have to rely on the aid stations I lighted up a little. I tried taking in the views while still maintaining pace, I tried singing along and talking positively and reciting quotes and mantras that I had recited to myself over the training period.
I will admit, I was not in my best head space; it was hard for me to come to terms with keeping a pace I had never kept for longer than one mile at a time. I wasn’t sure how I would cope with this continued demand of effort. And then I realized, no one said I had to run the whole thing. So I took my first walk break… and I felt defeated. But I wouldn’t let myself go into a negative space. I walked for 10 seconds, and went back out there. I did this 2 more times and was quickly changed my goals to just “if I can beat my goal from last year I will be happy.” When I got to mile 4, something clicked… and I made myself remember the 1600m repeats I did. I let myself take a final breather, counted down from 10 and said “game on” and I picked up the pace. 1600m and I would be able to rest or slow down,then another 1600m and I would be done. I did slow down a little, I was arguing with myself; I needed to leave some in the tank for the last 100m sprint, but I still needed to pick up the pace also.
Once I got to the turn around at mile 5.5 I saw the Badass Lady Gang of San Diego and gave a half smile (I was HURTING!) but the encouragement is what I needed.. I turned the corner, realized I had no more inclines and went for it. I followed a lady off the path a little to get around a stroller and some of the walkers of the 5K- which really wasn’t smart to have us cross paths when we are RACING! The volunteers held the 5K walkers back and let us go. I passed by one guy who was started walking and almost told him to keep going, but again.. me being selfish, I couldn’t waste my breath.
I rounded the corner, I thought of how awesome it would be to run in to the finish line and see Jesse and Hendrix cheering me on. I passed by others and picked up the pace, once I got to the grass area I ran as hard as I could. I threw my hands in the air and I cried as I passed the finish line. I sure hope I have an awesome finish line picture! I looked at the time on the clock and it said 52:22. I beat my goal by 1 minute and 37 seconds!
Unfortunately, it was too cold for Hendrix to wait outside, and they stayed in the car with the heater. Honestly, I was a little bummed, but I am glad that he isn’t SICK! It was too cold for him to be standing outside, but it would have been nice to have a cheering section!
After the race, I was in a haze, I downed two electrolyte drinks and then I made my way to the bathrooms (since I hadn’t peed yet!) and promptly peed and then got my goodie bag. Walked around a little to see the tents, tried some new fancy foam rollers and headed to the car. By that time, I was shivering… I threw on my light jacket and we drove to get food and to the hotel. This took all of 25 minutes, and when I reached the hotel my body started shivering, and almost seized up. I couldn’t function properly, I had to force some food and Gatorade down and Jesse layered me up with blankets. The rapid cool down was not good for me apparently. Once I thawed out, I went to the shower where I washed up and defrosted, then filled the bath with Epson salt and soaked for 30 minutes. I was tired, so after the bath I crawled into bed and the boys quietly amused themselves and I slept.
All in all, I am so proud of the race, and even though I didn’t run the whole thing, I made my goal! It is still surprising to me I was able to do it that way.
After I rested and felt better, we went out and the boys went fishing. I mostly just relaxed and watched from a nearby bench.