Tag Archives: Running

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?

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!

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.

 

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?

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!

Is Anybody Out There?…

If you don’t follow me on Instagram (and you should, I’m awesome!), I have been running.  It’s still a day-to-day thing but I’m making progress right now. 

St. Patrick's Day Run - the day before

I’m running up to 5k currently and am finally not sucking wind the whole time.  I was shocked to see how much of my athletic ability had dropped off between the end of November and the beginning of February.

For some reason I was under the impression that I would be able to run 10 miles with no problem when I started back up again but that really hasn’t been the case.  I’ve struggled to make it through runs that last year would have not been worth the effort.  Not to mention the struggle with my weight.  To be honest, I packed on some pounds due to not being able to get much exercise and continuing to eat like a I was running 120 miles a month.   Surprise, surprise, I gained.  But I’ve been working on it and have already taken off some of that weight.  Thank goodness for my Fitbit.  Love that thing.

Fitbit - All Green

I’ve been trying to have all my goals met every day for the last 3 and a half weeks and have been pretty successful every day except once when I over ate but my mom was here so I wasn’t too worried about it as long as I made good choices and got all my steps in.

I love a good challenge so the challenges on Fitbit where you challenge your friends to meet their daily goals or to see who can get the most steps in a week or a weekend has been really fun.  Right now I’m in a tight run off for the work week with another girl and its been really competitive.  But it’s total inspiration to get all my steps in and then some.  I just refuse to let her win without giving it all I have.  If you’ve got a Fitbit, send me a friend request!

Tell me what’s motivating you?

Who else has spring fever for all the super cute new running clothes that are out for spring?