Throwback Thursday!

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4 years ago today I ran my first 5k.  I remember being so scared the first time and intimidated by all the other runners.  I finished in 33:42.  I still get butterflies when I line up to race but it’s so much more fun now than it was that first time.

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My next race is coming up this Saturday up in Granite Bay.  For the first time ever I’m going to not pick up my packet in advance of the race.  Granite Bay is about 45 minutes to an hour from my house so it’s too far for me to drive up there on Friday and pick it up, especially with commute traffic.  I honestly just don’t want to waste the time or the gas getting up there.

I like to have a plan in place for race morning.  I need to know the start time and travel time in advance of the race.  I like to arrive an hour early to make sure that I’m not feeling rushed and have plenty of time to get there.  So the pre-race schedule looks like this:

  • 5am – wake up, shower, get dressed (race clothes may or may not be picked out in advance.
  • 5:20 – breakfast
  • 6:20 – leave the house – travel time is approximately 45 minutes
  • 7:20 – find parking & pick up race packet
  • 8:20 – Have fun and hopefully PR!

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Looks like it’s going to be a hot one on Saturday too.  Fingers crossed that the course is somewhat shady.  I’m not real familiar with Granite Bay so I have no idea what it’s going to be like.

Do you have a pre-race schedule?

What was your first 5k?

Weekly Run Report June 8 – June 14, 2015

I woke up twice last night with such an intense headache that at one point I thought I might have been shot.  But when my alarm when off this morning for my run at 3:45 I felt fine.  I did briefly contemplate just staying in bed but I figured that I’m awake so I may as well just get up.  And I’m glad that I did.  I had a great run this morning.  I love those mornings where it’s cool out and the run seems easy.  It was a great start to my Monday.

Of course by the time I got to work, I was wishing that I was still in bed.  Thank goodness I have a coffee pot in my office.

Coffee

Weekly Run Report for the week of June 8 – 14, 2015

Weekly Running Report 06-08 - 06-14-2015 1

Considering that I only ran 3 days last week, I’m pretty happy with my mileage.

Weekly Running Report 06-08 - 06-14-2015 2

Tuesday was easy run but Thursday was supposed to be 3.5 at my 5k pace but it really didn’t quite happen that way.  Since I’m switching to morning running and it’s dark out, I’m having trouble pacing myself.  9:39 average pace isn’t bad but I’d like to try to drag my average pace for 5k down to the low 9’s or high 8’s.

I’ve been considering changing my training schedule from every other day to running on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning before work to and on Saturday and Sunday.   I just find it really difficult to pace myself when it’s dark.    I don’t know what I’m going to do but I think I’m just going to stick with the training schedule I have for right now and maybe adjust it next week after my next race.

Have you ever changed your training schedule mid-cycle?

5 Things I Love This Week…

This week flew by in a frenzy of work, hanging out with friends, workweek hustle challenges and running.  So here’s the five things I’m loving this week…

5 things I’m loving this week:

Saucony Ride 8

Saucony used to be my brand before I switched to Brooks and the Ride was my shoe.  My local Fleet Feet has a demo night coming up for this shoe and I’m thinking about going out just to be able to try this shoe.  I never had any injuries when I was running in this shoe.  I can’t decide if I love the coral or the deepwater color best.

Nike-Photosynthesis-Womens-Running-Tank-Top-746209_451

I’m obsessed with this tank top.  It’s so cute, along with the rest of the Nike Photosynthesis line.

Teal_banner

I don’t know what it is with me and teal this year but I’m obsessed with it.  I want everything to be teal all the time.  The teal starburst (3rd from the right) is my favorite!

  •  This saying:

Running Obsession

Honey Stinger Vanilla Waffles

These are so tasty and never upset my stomach on a run.  I love them about 15 minutes before a run if I’m feeling a little low on fuel.

What are you loving this week?

Race Recap – Kaiser Permanente Women’s Fitness Festival

Even though the packet pickup for this race opened last Thursday, I didn’t get around to picking up my packet until Saturday.  Normally I love packet pickup day but I just didn’t really care to drive the 30 minutes up to Sac to pick it up.  I think it was because I’d driven up there on Wednesday to go to the National Running Day meet up.  So call me lazy, I didn’t want to drive up there again.   On Saturday, I convinced Hubby to drive up there with me to get my packet.  The packet was a bit lacking compared to some of the other races I’ve run.  But on the other side, it wasn’t full of paper that I’d just have to recycle at home.  But the shirt is adorable.  It’s a tech shirt which is awesome and even more awesome because you don’t have to pay an upgrade to get.  Tech was standard.

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Race morning was pretty standard.  Up at about 4:30, shower, dress, breakfast and out the door at 6.  I managed to find a spot that was just half a block off from Capital Park and on Saturday and Sundays the parking is free so bonus for not having to pay the meters.  I love downtown Sacramento on the weekends.  It’s really quiet and cool with all the huge old trees.  I just love it…on the weekends.

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The race had over 3000 women and girls running it.  It was pretty dang impressive to see that many women running the race.  They had pacers which was pretty cool for a 5k.  I don’t think I’ve ever run a 5k that had pacers before.  The pacers were guys but they were dressed up like ladies for the event.  Some wore wigs and tutu’s as well as makeup.  They really got into the spirit of it.  Also Deena Kastor was there and did a great job at giving an inspirational speech to the crowd.  She talked about what it’s like to fulfill a dream and that everyone can fulfill theirs too with hard work and determination.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure that a lot of people know who she is because the crowd kind of talked over her which sucks.  But I thought she was great!

Women's Fit Fest Route

The route had lots of turns in it which is never my favorite.  I’m not good with tangents.  This time I think I was too good at them because according to my Garmin, the course was .05 of a mile short.

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because of that .05, I didn’t really PR my 5k because it wasn’t a 5k.  Had it been, I would have totally PR’d this race.  I really went all out. I left it all on the course just like I’ve been practicing at home.

Splits:

Mile 1: 9:19
Mile 2: 9:28
Mile 3: 8:52
Mile 4: 9:03
Average: 9:13

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Just hanging out with my new boyfriend…

One of my main complaints with this race happened after the finish.  After the finish there was no clear way for the runners to get water and collect their medal.  They allowed friends and family to crowed the finish line and you basically had to fight your way through.  They did have some people handing out water but then you had to go find someone to give you a medal.  It was a little bit chaotic for my tastes.  I would have prefered if they had an area for the runners to get their medal and water  before the family members were allowed to block the incoming runners.  I felt as if I was running into a wall of people and had nowhere to go.

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The expo after the race was pretty awesome, Whole Foods had a full breakfast for you with fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt, juice & almond milk.  If you are over 21, they had sparkling wine.  Massage Envy was there offering free massages.  I didn’t get one only because I had one scheduled for later that same day.  Plus I was super sweaty and didn’t feel too comfortable asking someone to rub me when I was like that.  Icky.  Blue Diamond almonds was there with a tasting bar.  They also had lot’s of booths for up coming races in case you wanted to sign up for another one before your mind really figured out what you were doing.

Pros:

  • Packet pick up was well-organized and very easy and quick
  • Tech shirt standard & it’s really cute
  • Deena Kastor was awesome
  • Very cool post race expo with vendors and health information
  • Amazing breakfast with quick-moving lines

Cons:

  • Short course
  • Not enough finishing room for the runners before the crowds

Race rating:  A-

Bottom line:  I would totally do this one again!

It’s Almost Race Day!

Women's Festival Race Shirt

Kaiser Permanente Thrive Women’s Fitness Festival is coming up on Sunday.  Originally this race was scheduled to have a half marathon but due to some difficulties with the railroads not being willing to promise safe passage for the runners, they dropped the half and are only going to have the 5k.  Thankfully I was  never signed up for the half so I’m good with the 5k.  But due to the change, I think this race is going to be extremely crowded which means I doubt I’m going to be able to set a new PR like I’d been hoping too.

I also have the Granite Bay Courage Run coming up this month too.  So maybe, just maybe I will have a new PR this month!  Stay tuned!

Weekly Recap, May 25 – 31

Monday, again?!  I’m so confused as to what day of the week it is still.  Having two extra days off last week really through me for a loop.  I actually spent most of Saturday watching movies and napping.  And I still don’t feel quite like I’m back up to speed.  But no time like the present for getting on track.

Weekly Recap - May 25 - 31 1

I only ran 3 times last week per my training schedule that I set up for myself.  I postponed my long run from Saturday to Sunday because I just didn’t have the motivation to get myself dressed and ready to run.  No regrets about it either.

Weekly Recap - May 25 - 31 2

Sunday’s long run was really tough.  Apparently having a crunch wrap supreme from Taco Bell on Saturday for dinner is not enough fuel to power a long run.  I only scheduled a 5 mile run but ended up running 5.5.  I was so far from home I still had to walk almost a full mile after I stopped running but I was just done at that point.  Note to self for next week:  Eat better, do better.

May Personal Record

I did set a new PR for myself last month.  I set a new 5k PR.  It’s not official since I didn’t set it during a race but it’s a good start.

May Goal Achieved

I also met my goal for 50 miles in the month of May.  It’s not much compared to what I was running back in October but the goal is to build slowly so I don’t injure myself.  I’m trying to stick to the “only increase by 10%” rule.  Goal for next month is 55 miles.

Do you set monthly mileage goals?

How was your training week?

Is it just me or did this week both fly by and drag hellishly slow?  It’s been a weird week at work with Monday off for Memorial Day and taking yesterday off to take Hubby to a doctor’s appointment.  I woke this morning not really sure if I had to work today or if I need to get up to do my long run.  Thankfully cool heads prevailed and I managed to both shower and get appropriately dressed for work.

5 Things I Love this week:

Lock Laces

Lock Laces.  I bought my older sister a pair of these a while back and have been jealous ever since.  My sister has MS and it affects her fine motor skills and makes it hard for her to do things like tie her shoes.  Ever since she got hers I’ve wanted some too for my running shoes.  I’m always tying them and they stuffing the laces underneath so the bow and ends don’t flop around.  I swear if I don’t tuck them I spent 95% of my run thinking my shoes are coming untied.  So annoying.  I ordered myself several pairs of these yesterday so I can stop struggling with regular laces.

pace bands

Pace Bands I was thinking about picking up one of these to help me reach my goal of 2:15 at my next half in October, so yesterday I dropped the hammer on them.  At only $8.99 each, I think it’s a pretty good deal.  I picked up 2:15 and 2:12:30 just in case.  I really want to PR this year and I’m hoping not spending time trying to calculate my finish time and focusing on running to that PR will help since I’ll have the splits at a glance.

Fitbit

FitBit I love my Fitbit.  On days that I don’t run, I tend to be a little lazy.  *cough understatement cough*   This little beauty helps me stay active on those days and helps me keep moving during my work days too.  Plus the challenges are fun too.  There’s nothing more satisfying then crushing your friends and coworkers!  And nothing more agonizing than being crushed by your friends and coworkers.

Annies Bunny Grahams

Annie’s Bunny Grahams.  Picked these little yummys up on a whim at Wal-Mart this week and oh my goodness are they good!  So sweet and yummy.  Perfect snack while I’m being lazy and watching endless hours of true crime TV.  These might become regulars on my shopping list.

California Cherries

California Cherries.  I’m addicted right now!  They’re in season here and they are amazing.  We’re leaving a bowl of them on the counter and we just grab a handful as we go by.  I love them but only when they’re in season locally.  At this point I’ve eaten so many of them that I’m pretty sure that I’m about 65% cherry.  Hubby is waiting for the Bing Cherries to come into season but we haven’t seen them yet.  I suspect that when we hit the farmers market this weekend we might find some.

What 5 things are you loving this week?

Weekly Running Recap, May 18 – 24

Weekly Recap - May 18 - 24 1

It’s weekly running report time!  Last week was my most productive running week so far this year.  Almost 20 miles baby!  And it didn’t hurt a bit.

Weekly Recap - May 18 - 24 2

Monday:

Ran in Elk Grove.  I had to take Maggie to the groomers to get a summer cut and while she was being pampered I ran the trail system from behind the groomers down to the new pedestrian over crossing and did 6 sets of hill repeats.  I wanted to do 10 but since I had to run about a mile and a half back to the groomers I thought it would be smart to not kill myself.  I’m looking forward to doing this workout again.

Thursday:

I was supposed to run on Wednesday but the winds were really blowing so I postponed to Thursday morning.  I’m super glad I did.  Set a new PR for myself in the 5k.  I also learned that I don’t really enjoy running in the dark anymore.  I’m such a chicken.

Saturday:

Postponed Friday’s run to Saturday.  I did the math and realized that I wasn’t going to have enough miles to reach my goal of 50 miles for the month of May so I doubled the mileage to 4 miles.  It was a bit of a slog to get it done but I’m super happy with the pace.  I like that Sub-10’s are starting to feel easy.

I also got a reminder of running safety on Saturday morning.  I’m sure it was just my suspicious nature running in over drive but I had a guy drive past me twice in a couple of blocks on Saturday morning.  It wouldn’t have been weird but I had turned off the main road on to a side road when he came back by going in basically the same direction he was originally going in so he must have circled back to get a second look and he waved at me.  I did not know this guy and had never seen his truck before.  And then he passed me again on a different road about a quarter of a mile later.  It really made me nervous.  I had my phone out ready to call 911 or my husband to come get me.  It was really uncomfortable.  Thankfully nothing happened and I didn’t see him again after that but being safe and staying safe is something had we can forget about when we run our regular routes.  I have a Road ID that I wear and I use the Road ID app when I run.  The ID is great in case I can’t speak for myself.  But the app is awesome because it allows my family to check on my run in real-time and sends an alert if I stop moving.  If you’re not using at least one of these, please consider it.  *I’m not a paid spokesperson and this opinion is my and mine alone.  I was not compensated in any way by Road ID.

Sunday:

Long run day.  Scheduled 5 but ran 6.  I’m really shooting for a 50 mile month and this put it within my reach.

A full week of runs all with the average pace of less than a 10 minute mile.  I’m loving this!  And I’m working my butt off for it too.  I took a nap everyday over the weekend and actually took 2 on Saturday.  But I’m also feeling the effects of not being on point with my diet last week too.  I did great every day while I was at work but after work it fell apart every day.  Not sure why I’m struggling so much after several months of having no problem but I suspect that the problem is not meal planning or food prepping so I can grab something when I’m ready to eat.  With the holiday and having to take an extra day off this week to help Hubby after a medical procedure, I have a feeling that I’m not going to be doing great this week either.  But I’m going to do my best to make good choices and when I don’t or can’t, I’m going to start again and keep trying.

Zion 2016

Zion Accptance

But in other awesome news!  I’m in for Zion 2016!  I’m sooooooo excited about this race.  It’s still 10 months away but I can’t wait.  This will be Hubby and I’s vacation next year.  We’re planning to spend a week in Zion following the race with a possible 2nd week in Moab.  I’ve been to Utah before but not in years and the last time I was there I was there for work and didn’t get to do any sight-seeing at all.  Plus I love to Travel with Hubby.  He’s so fun and up for whatever I throw at him.  I really want to try for the trifecta after the race but will wait to see how I’m do after the race.

I’m considering picking up a couple of Pace Bands to help me reach my goal this year to set a new Half Marathon PR.  My PR from last year is 2:18:59.  I’d like to break 2:15 or at least set a new PR.  I’m only running one half marathon this year so I only have one chance to make this happen.  Pace Bands come in a bunch of different paces for 5k, 10k, Half and Full Marathons and since I seem to spend a lot of time trying to calculate where I’m at and fail miserably, I thought this might be a good way to keep an eye on it without having to do math…which I suck at when running and trying to do it in my head.

I’m thinking I might pick up the Half 2:15 and Half 2:12:30 in case I beat the 2:15 at Folsom this fall and am looking to PR in Zion.  A PR in Zion would be awesome but since the race is entirely uphill, I’m not holding my breath.   The gain looks impressive in the elevation map but it’s really like 2 feet of gain for every 100 yards which is why I’m trying to incorporate more hill work into my training now.  And eventually some training at elevation because I currently live at like 47 feet above see level and the Zion starts at 3484 feet and ends at 3886 feet above sea level.  Fingers crossed for some training runs in Tahoe!  Plus Tahoe!  Yeah!

Have you ever used a Pace Band?

Have you ever trained at an elevation you’re not used to?

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?!