Weekly Running Recap – May 11 – 17, 2015

Weekly Recap - May 11 - 17

I’ve been trying my best to stick with an every other day running schedule but the last couple of weeks have been a bit difficult as life seems to like to get in the way.  Two weeks ago I had to postpone my Saturday run to Sunday and last week I had to postpone my Thursday run to Friday.  California weather had been very strange this year; no rain, wind, cold temps, hot temps…crazy.  Thursday we were supposed to get rain but it never materialized and instead we got winds.  Winds don’t normally bother me but I opted to postpone my run one day for hopefully less windy conditions.  But this is the California Delta and it’s windy every day, so Friday’s run was windy anyway.

Weekly Recap - May 11 - 17 2

Here’s the break down on Runs:

Tuesday:  3 miles, some wind, awesome pace.  It was supposed to be a slow run day; around a 10 minute pace.  I just went out comfortable and finished with an average 9:10 pace which is in my new race pace area.

Friday:  2.5 miles, windy.  This run was supposed to be at race pace and I finished with an average 9:11 pace.  Not bad but I really was hoping for a closer to 9 flat pace.  The head wind I had for most of the first mile and a good portion of the 2nd mile was just brutal and I’m sure helped to slow me down.  But I put a good amount of effort into it so I’m happy with it.

Saturday:  4 miles, no wind, cool conditions.  I actually struggled a lot with this run.  I’ve been focusing on building speed and I’ve let my long runs trail off to nothing really.  I spent part of last week working on building my training schedule from now until the end of July when I start my half marathon training.

My next race is still a ways away, June 7th.  I decided to add a second 5k to my race calendar for June.  I want to race monthly but since I missed January and February due to the stress fractures, I’m going to have to add a couple of additional races to make 12 races this year.  But I’m still focusing on speed and short distances.

Women's Festival Race Shirt
It’s been two and a half weeks since my last race, the Fair Oaks Sun Run and it’ll be two and a half more until my next one and I’m looking forward to it.

June, July & August…

Since I posted my race schedule last I’ve added three more races into entry fee paid category.  I paid for races in June, July & August.

2015 Race Schedule - 3

I’ve signed up for the Courage Run in Granite Bay for June, The Moonlight Run in Davis for July and The Froyo Run in August.

I’ve done the Courage Run before but it was at a different location much closer to home.  I like doing this one because I like what the charity it supports does.  “Courage Run is a division of Courage Worldwide. This multi-city 5k/10k annual race series is a benefit for Courage House homes for minor girls rescued out of sex trafficking.”  Who doesn’t want to support helping young women rescued from sex trafficking.  That’s a good cause in my book.

I haven’t done the Moonlight run yet but I have happened to be passing through the Davis area on the night of the run and seen all the runners going over the foot bridge after dark.  It looked so fun that I couldn’t resist signing up for this one even though it’s in Davis.  I’ve raced in Davis before and have found the whole experience to be a bit annoying.  Davis a college town, home to UC Davis.  With all the college students doing the basics like finding parking to pick up your race packet and then just walking to the packet pick up really tests my patience.  Driving in that town is near to impossible due to the amount of foot and bicycle traffic.  For the most part, I just don’t stay away.  With that said, I’m going to do race day packet pick up.  This race doesn’t start until 7pm so I’ll have plenty of time to drive over park, get my packet, hike back to my car and then hike back to the starting area.  I’ve also opted to run the 5k only.  After all it’s Davis.  In July.  When it’s really hot.  It should be interesting!

Froyo 5k…There’s frozen yogurt! What more do I need to say?!  Plus check out the awesome swag!

Froyo 5k-Run-Goodie-Bag

I really want to run a fun race for August since it’ll be hot as August’s tend to be.  So what could be more fun than a race that has epic misting tunnels during the run and frozen yogurt after the race?!  I’m super looking forward to this race.  I’m even trying to get some of my coworkers in on it.

Are you planning any awesome races?

Isn’t froyo the best?! 

Fair Oaks Sun Run Recap…

The Fair Oaks Sun Run…how do I recap this miserable, hilly, god-awful, wonderful race?

Fair Oaks Sun Run 1

Going into this race I knew that it was hilly but honestly I had no idea how hilly it really was.  Even the down hills were pretty intense.  I ran all the hills both up and down for the first half but the second half I ended up having to walk several of the hills at least partially.  But with this race the hills were only half of it.  The middle section of this race was down in the bottom of the American River on dirt track.  This wasn’t just dirt track.   It was rocks and gravel too.

I was so happy to get off the rocks and onto the pavement again I almost wept.  And then I saw The Beast.  We’d come down it to the river bottom and while running down I was praying we weren’t going to be going back up it.  My prayers didn’t help.  We had to run back up it.  I made it about 2/3’s of the way up before I had to walk.  It was just so steep I was barely moving forward while running.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Finish

Thank goodness the last tenth of a mile was down hill to flat because I was done!  I’m just happy I was upright when I finished.  My hubby said that right before I finished an older gentleman fell right before the finish and then got up and finished.  When I rounded the corner, they were loading him into the ambulance.  It’s not something you want to see at all and the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that at a race.  Hubby thought the guy was just banged up with some road rash and wasn’t anything serious but still.  Scary.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Results 1

This course was very challenging and I’m thrilled with my time.  I finished a much more challenging course in just a couple of minutes less than my last 5 mile race and I’m thrilled with the results.  Part of the challenge this year in addition to running injury free & embracing the suck is to get my brain to understand that not every race has to be a PR.  Just finishing and finishing strong is what counts.

Fair Oaks Sun Run Medal

After the race we had pizza for dinner.  We never do that and let me tell you it was the greatest pizza I’ve ever had.

Race pros and cons:

Pro::

  • if you’re looking for a challenge, this race is it
  • variety of terrain – pavement, dirt, rocks, gravel
  • Hills, lots of hills
  • car show & activities for the family afterward
  • cool medal with a chicken on it

Cons:

  • Hills
  • Variety of terrain
  • The first aid station was a bit far out

I would totally do this one again next year.  It was a huge challenge for me and I loved it.  But next year I’m going to carry some water with me.  I would totally recommend this race if you’re looking for a challenge.  Flat and fast is fun but this was super fun.

Did you race last weekend?

How’d it go?

Friday, the best day of the week!

It’s finally Friday.  I’ve been waiting all week for it and it’s finally here.  I was recently able to restructure my job so that there is a more fair equitable division of work between me and my coworker.  She was doing the bulk of the work leaving me with not a lot to do day-to-day and it was driving me crazy.  But this week is graduation week and it’s always a little hectic at the beginning of the week but by Friday, it’s slow as the Academy shuts down for the day.  However that shut down doesn’t affect us.  We’re still here plugging away at our work.

But I’m stoked for this Friday because I’m racing this weekend!  Tomorrow is packet pick up day for the Fair Oaks Sun Run and I’m super juiced about it.

Fair Oaks Sun Run

My goal for this week has been to “Embrace the Suck!”  And I have been.  It’s usually my MO to avoid running when it’s hot or when the wind blows but not this week.  This week I’ve been running in the heat and the wind and I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it!  I’m running faster and sweating more!  But I don’t care, I’m just embracing whatever the weather throws at me.  I’m hoping Sunday morning will dawn cool but if it doesn’t, I’m going to embrace that too and run my race.  Hot temps or hills, they can’t get me down!

Zion 2016

I’m currently waiting for the Zion Half to open for registration for 2016 and it’s what is prompting my new “Embrace the Suck” for this year.   Let me name all the things that are wrong with this half:

  • Up hill
  • Altitude
  • Windy
  • Dry

These are all things I don’t want for a half but I am doing this one and I’m super stoked about it.  So I’m embracing the suck.  It’s all good attitude, all the time.  You want me run hills?  Ok.  You want me to run in wind?  Ok.  I’m cool with heat, rain, wind and cold temperatures.  I’m cool with whatever mother nature wants to throw at me this year.  It’s all just one step away from running this race.  (*disclaimer:  This attitude may or may not last for the next 11 months.  participant may or may not have had a mental break down.  Approach with extreme caution.)  I’m also super juiced for the 2 week vacation in Utah that will precede and post-ceed (I don’t think that’s a word) this race.

Juiced!

Have you ever run a destination race?

Got any advice?  I’ve never done one.

 

Weekly Run Report – April 20 – 26, 2015

One of the many things I love so much about using Smashrun.com is statistics.  I love the numbers.  At the end of each week they send you a weekly running report with interesting information about your running week.  The best part is all I have to do is go on their site and click the sync button and it syncs with my Garmin account so I don’t have to do anything for all the statistical data.  Cough*run nerd*cough.  It’s true.  I’m a run nerd.  Give me all the data and in at least two forms, thank you!

Weekly Recap - April 20 - 26 1

Smash Run tells me what days I ran, how many more miles I ran this week over last week, how many miles I ran and my fastest average pace.  Love that green + for percentage additional ran over last week.  When it’s red, I’m not very happy with myself.  But some times it’s red and I have to just deal with it.  And hopefully learn from it.

Weekly Recap - April 20 - 26 2

Total time spent running:  3 hours.  Might seem like a lot but it didn’t feel like it.  I ran on four different days to accumulate that 3 hours and it was only 13% of a day.  It’s nothing but it means so much to my general well-being and over all health.  Total calories burned doesn’t mean much to me.  I don’t run for the calorie burn but I do love to see what the food equivalent of those calories could have been even if it’s stuff that I wouldn’t normally eat anyway.

Weekly Recap - April 20 - 26

This one is my favorite.  I love seeing those runs with their average pace.  You can tell on Saturday I went to running group and since I was the only one actually running, I got paced by the coach.  9:50 average!  Get it, girl!  But in defense of those 10+ minute mines, it was very windy last week.

I’ve been avoiding running in the wind because I hate it and it’s hard  but I’m realizing that I need to embrace the suck.  The wind might slow me down but it will make me stronger.  And I live in the delta where the wind blows a lot.  The motto for this year is Injury Free in 2015 and Embrace the Suck!

In other running news, I ran my first virtual 10k.  And my second 10k ever.  I totally Embraced the Suck for this one.  I got up on Sunday morning, had some breakfast and went out for my run.  I’m trying not to do a lot of back to back running this year to hopefully avoid any injuries.  But I didn’t want to miss running group on Saturday, so I ran back to back on Saturday and Sunday to get my virtual 10k in.

The 10k was tough.  While the wind wasn’t very light for the first half, it picked up for the second half and in my infinite wisdom I chose a route that didn’t have a lot of shade.  The sun can really sap my strength.  But I finished in 1:04:33 which is about 4 minutes slower than my first every (and only) 10k 4 years ago where I finished in 1:00:52.  But in my defense that one was run at optimal temperatures with some rain tossed in to keep it cool.  The colder it is, the fast I go.  It’s all about personal preservation people!

Log Off and Run 10k

This was my first ever virtual race.  If you’ve never done one, what it basically is is all the swag from a regular race; t-shirt, bib and this case medal, but you run it on your schedule within the dates provided by the race organizer.  The meal was pretty cool.  Plus it was fun knowing that I was running with about 1000 other people from the world over.  Check out the instagram hashtag #logoffrace for a lot of cool race pictures.

Have you ever ran a virtual race?

Do you every have to remind yourself to embrace the suck?

It’s Filling Up…

After talking with my Hubby about my running goals for 2015 and really spending a lot of time thinking about what I really want out of my running, I’ve decided that I want to race monthly in 2015.  I missed January and February due to the stress fractures but I’ve raced in March & April.

2015 Race Schedule

I’ve been diligently working on my race schedule for the rest of the year.  Green is races I’m already registered for or have done, Yellow is the months I need to pick a race for and have possibly already chosen a tentative race & White is for races I want to run but they haven’t opened up for registration yet or are open but I haven’t registered for.  I haven’t picked a distance for the Moonlight Run and until I do I don’t want to register (I’m waffling between the 10k and the 10 mile).

June, August and December are still wide open.  June I’ve tentatively chosen a race but I’m seriously thinking about switching it up for a different race.  I’m trying to choose things that are close for me, are reasonably price and have a medal.  I know it’s so silly but I don’t want to race without a medal.  Of the races on my schedule, only June’s race doesn’t offer a medal which is why I’m considering switching to a different race.  Also, I’m thinking about switching to The Courage Run because they provide housing and services to victims of sex trafficking.  It’s a good cause and I’m pretty sure that the Dionysius Dash doesn’t benefit anything.

It’s so weird to have scheduled races so far out.  Most of the time (unless it’s a half) I just do them as they peak my interest.  I don’t plan them out.  I don’t usually run short races either, meaning 5k or 10k.  I generally pick the longest distance that races offers unless it’s a marathon.  But this year the goal is to run injury free and that means keeping my distances shorter this year.

I signed up to train with a group for my only half this year.  The group is really geared for people who are doing Urban Cow in Sacramento but I’m doing Folsom Blues Breakout.  It’s a couple of weeks after the Urban Cow but I can maintain my fitness for two weeks without the group.  I decided to join a group this year and train with a group because I want to be more structured than last year.   I train fine on my own in terms of setting up the schedule and sticking to it.  But with a goal of being injury free I just feel like a training group will be benefical to me.  Plus I’d love to get to know other runners that I could possibly run with after the group ends too.  None of my in-real-life friends are runners.

The training group doesn’t start until the end of July, so while I wait, I’ll race short races and enjoy my running as much as possible.  And try to finish rounding out my schedule.

Have you ever used a training group?

Did you meet cool people?

Heaven Help Me, I Signed Up for Another…

Do you ever wake up in the morning and suddenly decide that you’re going to take on a challenge that you’d normally avoid?  Say picking a race that’s known for being very hilly?  Even has a hill known as “The Beast”?  Does this happen to anyone else?  No?  Hmmm.

Fair Oaks Sun Run

Yesterday before my work day went totally crazy, I decided to sign up for the Fair Oaks Sun Run aka The Chicken Run.  Based off the course elevation map, I’ve clearly lost my mind.  Especially since I complained about the hills during the SacTown 10 – 5 Mile.

Fair Oaks Sun Run 1

Look at that elevation map!  Those hill names are scary but I’m committed now!  I payed my money and on Sunday May 3rd, I’ll pay the real price.  I’ve got two weeks to mentally prepare myself for this.

I don’t really have  a goal for this race.  Due to the hills, my main goal is to run them all especially The Beast and enjoy myself.  But in addition to the hills this race is also part road and part dirt track which I’ve never raced before.  I’ve run dirt but never raced it.  I’d like to come in with any time under 60 minutes but if I don’t, I don’t.  My race goals for this year are simple, have fun.

I’ll be a hill expert after this race!

 

SacTown 10 – 5 Mile Race Recap

Yesterday morning I got up early, jumped into my running clothes and headed up to downtown Sacramento to run the SacTown 10 – 5 mile.  The weather was really nice.  The sun was shining but there was a stiff breeze especially around the high-rise buildings.  I was hoping for a much stiller morning but at least it wasn’t hot.

SacTown10 - View of the Capital

It was still a bit dark when I got there at 7:45 but I managed to find a small patch of sun that wasn’t directly next to the porta potties to stand in until the start.  The kids miracle mile started at 8am, followed by the 5 mile at 8:30 and finally the 10 mile at 9.  It was a weird start especially since the 10 mile people made two loops of the course.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just start them together.  And there were no “corrals” for different pace times.  You just lined up and took your chances…and prayed you weren’t behind someone slower than you or blocking someone faster than you.

Places Marked in Red were hills.
Places Marked in Red were hills.

The course was much hillier than I expected.  I knew there were going to be some hills, primarily after mile 1, but I wasn’t expecting all the other hills.  Some were short steep hills and some were gradual hills that seemed to run on for miles (mile 4).  Where I live the hills are the way they slop the streets for water run off.  Saying we don’t have any is an understatement.  It’s flat, flat here and I’m only 30 driving minutes from downtown Sac.

There were two aid stations on the course at mile 2 and mile 4 and both were great.  I passed on the mile 2 one but did grab some water at mile 4.  I was surprised at how little water was in the cup, just enough for me to wet the inside of my mouth and then choke on (as usual).  But the folks manning the stations were very cheerful and were yelling encouragement the whole time.

Once you rounded the corner onto the Tower Bridge after mile 4 it was all down hill to the finish line.

Photobomb by Maggie
Photobomb by Maggie

I finished in a very respectable 50:48.  But the course was almost a 10th of a mile longer then the 5 advertised miles.  I’m not sure if I just didn’t cut the corners like I should have or what but .7 is a lot longer.  I wonder how long it actually was for the 10-milers.

We're in a drought here as evidanced by the grass in front of the capital building.
We’re in a drought here as evidanced by the grass in front of the capital building.
Offical Results
Offical Results
Age Group Results
Age Group Results

SacTown10 - Bib & Metal

Over all it was a good race and I would run it again.

What’s your run brag?

What’s Next…

I’ve been spending most of my time working on my race schedule for this year.  I’d like to try to race once a month, mostly shorter distances with at least 1 half marathon.

Tenative Schedule for 2015
tentative Schedule for 2015

I’ve already run the Running of the Elk and I’m registered for SacTown 10.  But all the others are tentative.  A couple of months have more than one race but as the date get’s closer I’ll pick one.  Some will get weeded out as being too far away.

I'm in!
I’m in!

But I did go ahead and sign up for the Folsom Blues Breakout.  I really wanted to run this last year but due to my injuries and I passed up registering for it.  I’m only planning on picking one half marathon this year and I really want to do this one.  It’s a great course that’s relatively close to us and it’s mostly down hill.  I’m hoping for a new PR but if not, I’m looking forward to just enjoying the day.  Summer training for this one is going to hurt but I’m looking at joining a training group for it just as a way to stay on track.  I already know from past experience that I can train sucessfully on my own but I’d also like to meet people who also enjoy running like I do.  I have tons of “on-line” friends but none are really local or train at my pace.  Maybe my new best friend is in this group and we just haven’t met yet.

Trying to find a race for August was difficult.  There isn’t much that’s offered close to home for that month.  I’m assuming it’s because of the heat.  I might add a destination race for that month if I can.  I’m thinking something Central Coast.  Morrow Bay or Santa Cruz if they have something going.  August is also Hubbs birthday month so I have to make sure that I’m not planning anything that will interfere with his birthday celebration.

I also have no race for December.  I guess that it’s so far out that not a lot of planning is complete yet for that month.  I’m sure as it get’s closer, I’ll be able to find some kind of Christmas themed race or fun run.

Do you plan out your race calendar? Or are you a go with the flow, whatever catches your fancy kind of runner?

Running of the Elk 2015 – Race Recap

It’s been almost two weeks since I ran my first 5k of the race season and it went great!  I finished in an amazing 30:02.9…fine, 30:03.  But it was awesome.  I had no plan other than to run the race and enjoy myself.  I felt a little apprehensive at first but as soon as it was the 5k’s turn to start all that went away.

30:02.9 - Not my fastest ever but still awesome!
30:02.9 – Not my fastest ever but still awesome!

I couldn’t have asked for better weather.  The sun was shining but the air temp was cool but not so cool that I wasn’t comfortable to run in shorts and a tank top.  I forgot my sunglasses and had to make an emergency pit stop at a gas station for a pair of cheapies.  I also forgot to charge my headphones and I was worried that they were going to quit on my half way but they never did.  And I finally got to use my race bib belt that I purchased last year.  Awesome piece of “equipment.”  It was so great to attach my bib to it and put it on after I got out of the car rather than pin the bib to my shirt and end up with a wrinkled mess before I even got to the race.  It never rode up or even moved around.  I honestly didn’t give it a single thought during my run.

Love my new bib belt
Love my new bib belt

The half went out first at 8am.  It was weird to stand on the side and watch the half go off without me.  But honestly, it was a relief to know that I wasn’t going out for that distance.  Being real with myself I know that I’m not up for right now and that I’m probably only going to race a since half this year vs the 4 I did last year.  It’s just not in the cards for me and I’m increasing my mileage at only a half a mile per week.  I want to do everything possible to be injury free in 2015.

The 5k was supposed to start at 8:15 but there was a little delay; nothing big, just a few minutes.  I originally lined up at the 10 min/mile sign but when I realized that walkers were lining up in front of me, I moved toward the front.  I understand that they have as much right to be there as anyone but I wish someone would take these folks aside and give them an etiquette lesson.  But that’s a whole other post.  I ended up lined up at about 8:30 min/mile and it was fine.  I still had to pass some folks that were walking but it wasn’t anything that really interfered with my race.

Running of the elk Map

The course was part out and back and part loop.  It was just over 2 miles of street running before it turned onto a bike/foot path next to a creek before it turned back onto the original street to the finish line.  I liked the course.  It was a shady and fairly flat.  And it was fun to get passed by the 1/2’s front-runner.  Plus with the turn around, we got to see the first female in the 5k which always holds a special place for me.  It was fun to cheer for her and let her know she’s first.

Finishing with my new best running buddy, Walter.
Finishing with my new best running buddy, Walter.

Some time after mile 2, I picked up a new running buddy.  We were pushing each other to go faster and faster.  He said he just couldn’t let me go by him and it was really fun to run with him.  I think we need to hook up for training runs ever week.  I’m giving credit to Walter for that 9:23 min/mile in mile 3.  He just wouldn’t let me by and I wouldn’t quit trying to get by; not that he was preventing me from getting by because we were passing people right and left.

Love seeing those splits in the 9's!
Love seeing those splits in the 9’s!

The finish was slightly up hill but nothing major.  By that time the endorphins were really kicking so I was feeling no pain anyway.  I’m super thrilled with my time and I really enjoyed this race.  I would definitely run this again.

I won!  Ok, I didn't place in my age group but it was a major victory!
I won! Ok, I didn’t place in my age group but it was a major victory!