Monthly Archives: May 2015

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?

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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?! 

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.