Active But Lazy…

Active But Lazy…

In the days leading up to this weekend, I was making plans and shuffling things around for work, thinking I actually would have the energy to go out and do things on a day I was running 18 miles with my marathon team…

I’ve done it before, so I didn’t think I would be as tired as I was Sunday at 12pm, but I was falling asleep in the car I was getting a ride in…so that must have indicated something!

Speaking of marathon team, things have been going great training-wise. In fact, we ran one of our classic routes yesterday in Palos Verdes, and I even wrote about the experience two years ago, haha. Even with the challenging hills and after-burn in my thighs, I really cut down on my course time—by at least 1.5 minutes/mile! Hopefully this is a sign that I’ll be PRing in my third marathon come March…

This has to be my favorite sweatshirt that I own. My sister got it for me over the holidays, and I just love how soft it is, and of course the title labeled on the front ;)
This has to be my favorite sweatshirt that I own. My sister got it for me over the holidays, and I just love how soft it is, and of course the title labeled on the front 😉

After Sunday’s run, the idea of showering + sleeping sounded more enticing than getting on a bus and checking out a new restaurant. If I plan things better for next weekend, perhaps I can make it happen. I do miss using my weekends to go out exploring!

I did at least try some new food products this week. Devotion Nutrition sent me over some protein powders and “Flex Flavorings” packets to try.

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Samples from Devotion Nutrition

I was able to get some samples for the Angel Food Cake and Brownie Batter protein powders and found both flavors to have an appealing scent, no icky after-taste, and a texture that allows for easy mixing in liquids or yogurt.

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Angel Food Cake & Brownie Batter protein powders // Flex Flavorings

I’ve literally been having these as yogurt-thickeners and just mixed with water for “faux pudding”.

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A hefty packet of protein that contains a smooth powder for easy mixing!

I prefer them as “yogurt enhancers”, but they really are good on their own too.

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Extremely thick brownie batter yogurt—yum!
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“Faux pudding” – literally just added enough water to keep a thick consistency. Pulls apart like pudding!

I used some Flex Flavorings to add some flavor to some Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Greek Whole Milk Yogurt. And then topped it with a full amount of cookie butter 😉

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Monkey Bread and Coconut Biscotti flavors!

Keeping up with the theme, I added the flavorings to yogurt and topped some of it on a Lenny & Larry’s birthday cake cookie and a FitJoy birthday cake bar.

The makings of an exciting, birthday-themed dessert bowl...
The makings of an exciting, birthday-themed dessert bowl…
Ended up nuking the birthday cake @lennyandlarrys cookie and the birthday cake @fitjoynutrition bar (probably my only, and number one favorite of this brand!), while flavoring some Trader Joe's whole milk coconut Greek yogurt with @devotionnutrition Flex Flavor powders (Birthday Cake and Italian Cookie). What a way to conclude the end of January 2017 😉🍰🎂🍰🎂!!!
Ended up nuking the birthday cake @lennyandlarrys cookie and the birthday cake @fitjoynutrition bar (probably my only, and number one favorite of this brand!), while flavoring some Trader Joe’s whole milk coconut Greek yogurt with @devotionnutrition Flex Flavor powders (Birthday Cake and Italian Cookie). What a way to conclude the end of January 2017 😉🍰🎂🍰🎂!!!

I also tried two flavors of the new Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites: Chocolate Dipped Cherry and Red Velvet Cake. I bought them at Vitamin Shoppe, and then munched on these while walking to get errands done.

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These red velvet cake bites weren’t too bad! Honestly I expected the “cake” filling to be more moist and fluffy (as would be expected of a cake), but it was more like a chewy, melt-in-your-mouth texture. In other words, these bites are just circular protein bars: definitely not petit fours status, but good nonetheless.

You know those cherry cordials? These cake bites were reminiscent of that. I particularly wasn’t a fan of this flavor (I think it was the dark chocolate…), but they did have the same soft, chewy texture as the Red Velvet bites.

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18 miles of running 🏃in Palos Verdes and my thighs are fried 🍗🔥 (thank you, hills! 😒), and I kind of wished I saved these chocolate dipped cherry cake bites from yesterday to snack on now, as I lay in bed for the rest of the day…haha, I’m SO not getting any work done today 😂

I am thankful for the fact that I don’t have to worry about midterms or finals or any of that undergrad/early grad school stuff, haha! There were some people on my team who were dreading the fact they had to go home and study despite running 18 miles/it being Superbowl Sunday.

Do you put sleep above everything else?

Race Recap – 31st Skechers Performance LA Marathon

Race Recap – 31st Skechers Performance LA Marathon

On February 14, 2016, I ran my second marathon.

Caught at the right moment
Caught at the right moment

It has been less than a year since I ran my first marathon, and SO many things have happened since then. Even with all that has transpired, I am grateful that I was even able to run this insane distance once again!

My day began at 3am on Valentine’s Day. Once I stuffed all of my race day essentials into my gear check bag, I was off with my carpool crew. After picking up a few more people, we drove off to Santa Monica to park the car and load the shuttle buses to Dodger’s Stadium.

As we sat on the bus, some of my marathon teammates came up with running pick-up lines since it was Valentine’s Day. One guy had us all laughing with “I may be running 26.2, but I want 26.YOU”. It was definitely a light-hearted ride to the the starting line that would otherwise be an anxiety-ridden one!

Everyone in front of me was all quiet and thinking to themselves...everyone behind me was all laughs!
Everyone in front of me was all quiet and thinking to themselves…everyone behind me was all laughs!

Once we got to Dodger’s Stadium, we had about a half an hour to check in our bags and ready ourselves. We didn’t have time for a all-member team pic, so I immediately got into my assigned corral.

After the wheelchair runners and elite women, the elite men and the rest of us were off! I was feeling anxious about my right foot, but once things got moving I didn’t feel much in terms of pain.

The course was pretty much identical to last year’s, and I was able to keep a 9:30-10:00 pace for the first several miles. I was carrying my handheld water bottle as well, so I didn’t feel the need to stop for water until after mile 6 or so.

It was relatively easy for me to zone out all the way through Chinatown, Downtown, Echo Park, Silverlake, Hollywood…all the way through Beverly Hills even! As expected, I felt myself slow down in pace as we reached Century City and Westwood. We thankfully did not have to climb that tortous hill near the VA like last year, but miles 22 and onward only made me feel slower and wishing I didn’t have 4.2 miles left.

I refueled with the same gummies and shot bloks as last year, but didn’t start chewing until ~mile 11-13. I went through all of my chewables by mile 22, hoping I would be able to snag a packet from a spectator like last year.

Unfortunately, no one was handing out unwrapped shot bloks past mile 22, but I found myself immensely hungry at mile 23! Two pieces of licorice happened to do the trick surprisingly.

Unlike the 90+F degree weather of last year, we were greeted with fog once we hit Brentwood. As we ran downhill on San Vicente, we could feel the cool, misty ocean as we approached the finish.

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Everyone looks so sad!

Making it to the finish line this year was not as grueling, but once I hit the stop button on my Garmin at 26.4 miles and slowed to a walk, I began to feel the achiness of my hip and foot tendons.

Just keep walking and standing...
Just keep walking and standing…

After grabbing some post-race snacks, a heat sheet, and my medal, I proceeded to the bag check trucks. Bag check was horribly organized this year, since I found all of the bags tossed on the ground.

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Dude, where’s my bag?

Honestly, anybody could have just grabbed a bag and left! There was also no organization such as alphabetizing the bags, so it took me a good fifteen minutes just to find my bag.

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No man! Don’t sit!

Once that was all done, I proceeded to find my teammates. Everyone who had completed the distance was sitting cross-legged with their heat sheets drapped over their shoulders, munching on mini Clif bars or animal crackers. I continued to stand because if I had sat, it would have been PAINFUL to get up!!

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Race patrol keeping the roads clear!

I was there for another hour and a half until everyone from my car was back. We hobbled back to the parking lot around 2pm, and got back into the city an hour later (just like last year).

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Someone got one of my teammates roses…oooooohooohooo

I actually had to go into lab that afternoon (!!) and so I took my sweet time with that. I normally stand for one particular experiment I have to do but on this day, I had to find a seat because my legs were begging me, haha!

I also reflected on my experience, my capabilities, and my newfound strength on Instagram, leaving this picture with a caption about how I ran this race in a much healthier state than probably any other race I have run before!

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♥♥♥

I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to go with this running thing, and getting faster is one of my top goals. My time was slower by six minutes this year, but that can be due to so many factors. I am just so incredibly grateful that I was even able to run this race, and I hope that there will be many more marathons in my future, reminding me that all is possible when you work with and trust your body.

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Two sides to THIS medal!!

Have you ever run a marathon? Would you want to?

Race Recap: 30th ASICS LA Marathon

Race Recap: 30th ASICS LA Marathon

Ever since Sunday, I’ve been in ultimate bliss. Is that normal though? After all, I did subject myself to non-stop running for 4+ hours.

But yeah, I’d say it was a life-changing experience. No regrets here.

 The light at the end of the tunnel: sights seen after my marathon.
The light at the end of the tunnel: sights seen after my marathon.

The countdown to the race began the day before, since I had to make it to the expo at the LA Convention Center to grab by race packet and bib. Since the expo opened at 9am that morning, I wanted to get there as early as possible, and walked to the convention center from my apartment an hour earlier to account for waiting time, etc. 

I came in through a different entrance, and so even though I saw the “Welcome Runners” sign from a distance…

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…I was redirected to line up outside through another entrance.

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Even though the line looked incredibly long and made me wish I had come even earlier (or perhaps the day before…), the line started to move quickly once the doors “officially” opened at 9am.

Expo business went about as usual: I got my bib, race shirt, and made my way through the Asics pop-up shop in order to get to the actual vendor booths (and free samples!).

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I wasn’t able to find much in terms of take-home samples, but I did stop to write a note on the “memory wall”, check out the course route printed on another wall, and find my name mixed with other runners’ names on yet another wall…

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From the freebies I did manage to collect, I was able to grab some Nuun tablets, a free Megabus shirt, and some Larabar minis. The Clif bar tent had plenty of sample stations set up, but since they weren’t actually giving out packaged bars from what I could tell (just cut-up bars on toothpicks), I didn’t think it was worth standing in line. Plus, since the next day was obviously booked for me, I had to leave early in order to make sure I had enough time to get my domestic errands done (grocery shopping—ahh!).

After leaving the expo, the rest of the day was spent grocery shopping/taking public transit (because that sucks up a lot of time), and so I literally did not get home until 5pm. I was slightly concerned since I was out on my feet all day, doing plenty of walking under the hot sun, but I went ahead and quickly made a light dinner before resting up on the couch.

Around 8pm, I slowly began to gather my race day essentials, and got into bed at 8:30pm since my ride was picking me up at 3:15am. The plan was to park and catch the shuttle from Santa Monica to the starting line at Dodger’s Stadium.

On race day morning, I woke up before my alarm could ring at 2:45am, quickly got dressed, and dashed out of my apartment to meet my ride downstairs. I was carpooling with two members of the team I was training with, and because of it was early morning on a Sunday, we had no traffic to fight.

We arrived and parked in Santa Monica a little after 3:30am, and had to walk over to where the shuttles were parked. A fellow runner was walking near us and commented that we wouldn’t need to warm-up before the race due to all the walking we already had to do!

Once we got on the shuttle, it was 4:00am. I began fueling with two Quest bars, and soon we were dropped off in front of Dodger’s Stadium.

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Since we had “lost” one of our carpoolers on another shuttle, my other carpool buddy and I waited outside for him. In the meantime, we collected some freebies (water bottle, Clif bar minis, Clif shot bloks (!!!) ), which I stashed for later.

After finding our teammate, we walked inside the stadium to see if we could find the rest of our teammates. We didn’t really have a designated meeting spot, but since we had team shirts, we assumed we’d be able to find “our people” as they walked in.

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I continued to hydrate and fuel with two mini Larabars, and a mini Clif bar. More of our teammates arrived, and we found an area on the floor to sit and occupy so as not to tire our legs.

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Photographers came around and took our pictures. At one point, a man without a bib approached me and asked if I had an extra bib, which I found to be a strange thing to ask. But when he explained that he had arrived at the expo too late, and that the race organizers wouldn’t give him his bib since the expo was closing, I could understand his frustration and distress. Still, I didn’t just happen to have an extra bib lying around…

As time ticked closer to 6:00am, more and more of my teammates arrived, and soon we had enough members for a group picture. After getting our stuff checked in at bag check and using the porta-potties, our group shuffled with thousands of other runners to the starting line. A lot of us were first-time marathoners, so we didn’t have previous marathon times that would allow us to line up in Corrals A-E. Even though there was this separation between runners, I’m glad that I was still able to start with a group of familiar faces.

We gave eachother some last minute hugs and cheers, and soon we were off! I was able to run with two of my teammates (fellow ladies that “struggled” with me on a 13 mi LSD back in January) for the first mile, but they stopped to use a porta-potty after Mile 1, so from that point on, I was on my own for a while.

The course led us through Chinatown, DTLA, and Little Tokyo for the first couple miles. In all honesty, the first 10k breezed by like the cool breeze and overcast skies that blanketed over us runners (<— at least the weather was like this for the first quarter of the race…). There were plenty of distractions early on in the race too—everything from people preaching about the bible over megaphones, to taiko drums, to chili dogs being served by locals at the 5 mile mark!

Miles 7-13 didn’t fly by as quickly, but did pass by at a steady enough rate. I was still feeling pretty good, making sure to keep hydrated with my handheld water bottle. I also ran through misting machines, and dumped cups of water over my head at every chance I could get.

We passed through Echo Park and Silver Lake during these miles, and approached Hollywood and Vine at around Mile 11, where I began to start mid-run fueling with some fruit gummies I purchased the day before from Sprouts. I fueled with the same bag of gummies periodically between Miles 11-15, as things started to heat up at Mile 15.

In Beverly Hills, a spectator had a sign that said “Even Pretty Woman cried on Rodeo Dr.“, and this spectator was standing right as we turned the corner at Rodeo Dr.! It was fun being able to run past designer stores, but since the sun was starting to rise higher, the heat was beginning to set in. Fortunately, ice was starting to be provided at aid stations, so I grabbed a handful and stuffed some cubes in my mouth. I looked like a chipmunk at least up until Mile 16!

People I spoke to in the past said Century City is one of the most boring/hard-to-get-through areas, but there was a decent-sized crowd there this time around. Miles 20-22 near the VA/Westwood were incredibly tough on the other hand. My legs started to feel extremely sore, and people all around me were slowing down to a light jog, or to a pained walk. It was also the “driest” part of the race, since there were no water stations in sight, nor were there any misting machines.

I still didn’t want to stop the momentum, so I trucked on in light jogger mode, even though it felt like I was exerting so much energy just to move one step. At one point, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run the last few miles of the race!

Fortunately, volunteers and spectators made their presence again once I got into Mile 22. Some were even holding out full packages of Clif shot bloks, which I grabbed from one of the volunteers with much gratitude. Since I wanted to finish the race running, I stuffed all six bloks just before Mile 23 to see if that would do the trick and bring me back up to speed.

And it just so happened that it worked! I felt my speed pick back up, and found a fellow teammate in the distance walking through a water station around Mile 24. When she saw me, she said “Ready? Let’s finish this,” and we began to match ourselves in stride and accelerate our pace. We were one and strong for the next two-ish miles. I even had enough energy to flash a smile at one of the race photographers in the middle of the road, just before we turned on Ocean Ave.

Mile 26 was the defining moment. I thought we would make it across the finish line together, but my teammate stopped to walk and encouraged me to keep going. It was the hottest stretch of the race since the sun was beating down with no mercy…and there was no ocean breeze whatsoever!

But I made it. And according to Mr. Garmin, I have a new long distance PR and marathon time of 4:36:56. The finisher’s area felt like such a long stretch, and I actually was walking for quite some time before being offered a medal. Then I was offered a heat sheet, cold + wet towels, water, snacks, and a finisher’s photo.

 Crowds in Santa Monica, after the race.
Crowds in Santa Monica, after the race.

I met some of my other teammates in the family reunion area off to one side of the finisher’s walk. We hugged and congratulated each other, commiserated about Miles 20-22, and commented about what a phenomenal experience this all was. A few of my teammates commented on how I didn’t even look tired, and found it humorous when I replied saying I felt “sorta sore”.

I sat with my team, and hugged/congratulated my other teammates as they joined our group with smiles on their faces. We sat around and chilled until 1pm, which was when we had enough people to carpool with back home.

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The traffic in Santa Monica was INSANE. We got to the car around 2pm, but didn’t even get on the highway until 3pm! By the time I got home, it was almost 4pm!! It was frustrating to have to push my marathon lunch plans forward as dinner plans, but I wasn’t going to let that bring me down from the happiness and accomplishment I gained from the glorious morning I had. Plus, I did get to celebrate with a superb veggie burger and exotic-flavored ice cream (more on that later 😉 ), so I’m not complaining!

I’m so happy that I made the decision to run 26.2 at this point in my life. The experience gave me the challenge I needed to take my long distance running and endurance to the next level, to treat my body with more respect in terms of fuel and strength, and it’s even made me more confident. I met a lot of great people by training with a team, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of my family and friends.

My Dad was glued to his computer, tracking me online. When I finished the race and checked my phone, there were about six messages from him with encouraging words as I progressed along the course at different times. Reading those messages made me feel so elated and loved, even though he was not physically there to give me bear hug at the end of the race (and to help me pick up some extra post-race freebies 😉 ).

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My marathon withdrawls are not as strong as I thought they’d be, but I am taking it easy with the running for this week. My current plans are to continue as though I’m training for a marathon, making sure I maintain the endurance I’ve built up with those 13-20 mi LSD runs, but I think my current goal will be to work on a new half PR (sub 2:00 please!!). Next on the agenda, find some races…

Would you ever run a marathon?

How did you feel when you crossed the finish line of your first marathon?

MTR: Week 19

MTR: Week 19

So…by the time this post is up, I think it would be safe to say that I along with 24,999 other eager runners are en route towards Santa Monica—facing the 26.2 miles whether we are ready or not. But I still wanted to wrap up my MTR series with a recap of this past week.

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Spending some time in Larchmont Village on Sunday afternoon, after a PR-filled taper run that morning.

Sundaymile group LSD run at  [New 5/10K PRs!!]

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 3 mile morning solo run at  9:19/mi

Wednesday –  3.4 mile morning solo run at  9:18/mi

Thursday – 3.6 mile morning solo run at  9:13/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest


Total Mileage ->   18 miles

Because of the reduced mileage all-around, it felt odd to have more free time in my mornings. I also felt at times that I should make up for the shorter distance by going faster, but thought better of it and held back so that I wouldn’t bring on any unnecessary injuries…

It’s a bittersweet feeling to see that training for my first marathon is coming to an end. These past five months of training have given me some of my best days, greatest challenges, and even some handy excuses for not having a “social” life. I would argue against the last part though, because I don’t think I would be running a marathon at this time in my life if it were not for my team. Conquering something so massive and challenging seems much more doable when you’ve got people to back you up, and that’s something I’m grateful for.

I definitely plan on a marathon recap, and even an afterthought post to really wrap things up, but for now, I’ll just keep you waiting 😉

ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes

ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes

Disclaimer: This review is based on the products and information I received from ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. While I have been compensated for this review, all opinions are my own.

My first marathon will be literally less than 48 hours away by the time I get this post up. Because of the weather forecast, our start time got pushed earlier to 6:55am versus 7:25am…all because of the dreaded 80+ temperatures that are to be expected! Sure, we’ll be running towards the ocean, so perhaps we can be hopeful for a cool-enough ocean breeze, but I’m bracing myself for the heat, aches, and especially sweat.

I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity as a Sweat Pink Ambassador to try out ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes, which I know will certainly come in handy after my race. The wipes are suitable for athletes looking to freshen up after a rock-solid workout, but are also great for outdoor activities like camping, and even military/service personnel.

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These wipes look like they’ll serve their purpose for me when I am at my smelliest “worst”, post-race. I’ll probably feel over-the-moon about accomplishing the distance, but I don’t think those feelings will be a good representation of how my body will react physically from the 4-ish hours of pounding ground.

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At least I won’t smell like I was running through a landfill for those four hours though? These wipes not only help the sweaty/stinky athlete clean and freshen up, but they also work efficiently by drying up quickly and don’t leave behind a sticky residue. For me, there have been so many times in the past where I have used wipes that do their job cleaning-wise, but then my skin has that odd, glossy feeling afterwards. And with those regular brand wipes, it can be easy to look past the ingredients list…even though many of them do contain alcohol, parabens, and other “unsavory items”…

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The active ingredient in these wipes is an antimicrobial agent, and so it can help keep skin infections at bay if supplies are not nearby. Having these with me when I scraped my hand back in December during on of my LSD training runs would have probably helped a ton…

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The wipes are supposed to be thick like a washcloth, and each sachet has directions on the back on how to “properly” use the wipes:

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So even though my marathon is less than 2 days away, I still need to get working on my marathon checklist! I do know for sure that a few of these ShowerPill sachets will be making it into my bag. I’m almost tempted to bring the whole box of 10 sachets with me. I may or may not use them all during that post-race rush, but perhaps some of my smelly teammates may appreciate them 😉 

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If you’d like to try ShowerPill wipes for yourself, you can buy  the 10-pack boxes or 250-pack team buckets here, or join their ShowerPill Club for some extra perks!

What’s your go-to way to freshen up right after a race/workout?

MTR: Week 18

MTR: Week 18

This week’s long run was actually one I was looking forward to. I mean, after you run 22 miles, 12 miles seems like such a reward! I was also looking to the run as a way to ‘de-stress’ since my weekend was an exhausting/stress-inducing one. It was something I touched upon in my last post, and I can’t get into details for privacy reasons, but I was feeling so anxious about the situation that it was costing me quality sleep.

Even though the ‘issues’ didn’t resolve overnight (they did resolve by the end of the week though 🙂 ), Sunday’s run certainly helped. We ran a 6 mile out-and-back starting from near the Santa Monica Pier, and while I started off slowly, I had negative splits towards the end of the run. My teammates poked fun at the fact that I didn’t even look like I was out of breath or sweaty. I guess the fun thing about tapering is being able to see how much you’ve improved in your ‘old’ long distances.

I celebrated my 9:23/mi pace on the inside, but figuring out how to maintain the endurance/speed I’ve developed during this course of marathon training is something that’s been brewing in my mind as of late.

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Walking east from the beach on Wilshire, towards my lunch destination.

I also learned after the run that this would be our last team carpool for training! Our final long run before the marathon is next week, but we are staying local for that 8 miler. As for the rest of the week in running, here’s how it turned out:

Sunday12 mile group LSD run at  9:23/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday6 mile morning solo run at  8:57/mi

Wednesday –  6 mile morning solo run at  9:20/mi

Thursday6 mile morning solo run at  9:08/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest


Total Mileage ->   30 miles

Despite having to deal with a stressful situation, I was happy to not give in to the anxiety and sacrifice my morning runs and lifting workouts. Working out in the weekday mornings is best for my schedule, and I think I can safetly say that this has become a healthy habit. I feel so much better and ready to conquer the day after busting out some miles/pumping up my muscles in the morning 🙂

So now it looks like I’m down to one more week before the big day. The 26.2. I plan for this final week in marathon training to be a light one, with 3-4 milers during the week and Friday/Saturday as rest days. I also have to remind myself not to get too carried away at the expo…just get my bib, whatever samples I’m able to scour, and run walk home to rest 😉

Do you enjoy taking it easy the last one-two weeks before a big race, or do you find yourself feeling anxious about the big day?

MTR: Week 17

MTR: Week 17

I was debating over the idea of running 20+2 miles prior to the marathon, but I ended up doing so this past week. To be honest, it was a pretty smooth set of miles, except until I reached 20.1…haha. I seriously could feel every bone/ligament/tendon in my body from the hips down, and what was only “two more miles” felt like twenty.

I know there is a lot of debate concerning how much a long run should cover prior to the actual marathon, and that a lot of people say no more than 20 while others say 24 is totally okay. I decided to run 22 because a) I was running with a team, b) we ran from Dockweiler Beach to Santa Monica and back, running alongside Marina Del Rey (um, who doesn’t want to run by the beach??), and c) why not?

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Blister/scar from my water bottle strap // trying out GU Watermelon Chomps // Celebrating my longest run of the training season by going out to eat!

Sunday22 mile group LSD run at  10:05/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday4 mile morning solo run at  9:24/mi

Wednesday –  Rest

Thursday6 mile morning solo run at  9:41/mi

Friday4 mile morning solo run at  9:27/mi

Saturday – Rest


Total Mileage ->  36 miles

Since the Clif Shot Bloks I used for Mile 20 as race fuel worked pretty well, I kept in theme with using a gummy/chewy food for fuel, but decided to try the watermelon flavor of GU Chomps since they were {slightly} cheaper at Vitamin Shoppe. I stuffed them in a Ziploc, which I then stuffed into my running water bottle, and I was off to meet my team at 7:00am for our carpool.

The sky was cloudy and gray, but the temperature was nice and cool since we were starting off at the beach. We made our way north from Dockweiler, passing Marina Del Rey. It even rained around mile 6, but that didn’t stop us from trucking on through the “fun” part of Venice, and straight onto the bike path near the Santa Monica Pier before turning around at 11 miles. I decided to fuel up with all my chomps around the halfway point (along with hydrating), and savored the watermelon flavors as I eased myself to run back to the starting point.

There were so many good (and bad annoying) distractions throughout this run. I always enjoy people-watching when running, and there is ample opportunity to do so when you run alongside the coast. Even at 8:00am, people are hanging out in Venice and “making a scene”, which obviously equates to entertainment for the weary runner!

Want to know some of the annoying stuff though?

Getting a blister on the back of your hand from your running water bottle strap.

That said water bottle getting soaked prior to the run because you didn’t screw the cap tight enough, and your chews ended up getting soaked as well.

Wishing the last two miles of 20+2 didn’t feel like 22.

In the end, it was all worth it when I high-fived my teammates and commiserated with them about our long run “struggle” 😉 And I was pleased with the fact that I was able to step out on the town afterwards and treat myself to an appetizing lunch and astounding cupcake sundae for dessert!*

*Side note – about five hours after eating, I started getting strong stomach pains and a really bloated stomach. I ended up vomiting, which after consulting a running friend, I think was due to my long-run induced muscle-spasms/eating something high in sugar after running. Even though this adds to why one shouldn’t run over 20 miles prior to the 26.2, I’m glad that this happened pre-race so that I can be prepared to address the issue if it happens after race day (by keeping Tums or some antacid on hand)

Still, I don’t regret my cupcake sundae ‘cause that thing was mind-blowing….and apparently gut-blowing as well :P*

Have you ever experienced nausea/vomiting after a run? 

MTR: Week 16

MTR: Week 16

This week in running may look light compared to last week’s adventures, but I have to be honest and say that some runs were a struggle to just get done…

Sunday – Rest

Monday – mile morning solo run at  9:27/mi

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday –  Rest

Thursday –  9.4 mile morning solo run at 9:41/mi

Friday6.6 mile morning solo run at 9:35/mi

Saturday –  Rest


Total Mileage ->   22 miles

Sunday became a rest day this week since I ran a half the day before as my long run for the week. That allowed Monday to be a good day for a run, and since I was still visiting family for the holiday weekend, I was able to run the familiar neighborhood route near my family’s home.

Tuesday was forced to be a ‘rest’ day since I was traveling pretty much all day. Once I got back to my apartment, I was tired beyond words. All I could do was unpack, shower, and go to sleep early in hopes of trying to get rid of a lingering headache. I’m usually on top of my workouts on Wednesdays, waking up at 4am to squeeze in a lifting session and a run, but this Wednesday was an exception. I still got up early, but didn’t have the drive or energy to get going. I ended up going back to sleep for an hour, and then lifted weights after coming home from a long day spent on campus. Fortunately, I was able to push myself out the door on Thursday and Friday after some time twiddling my thumbs, but once I got going, I was able to zone out and just focus on getting in the miles necessary for the week. 

At least I felt good during the runs, it was all just a matter of finding that inner-motivation 😉

Do you find it difficult to get back to your workout regimen during/after times of travel or stress? 

Race Recap – Bay Breeze Half

Race Recap – Bay Breeze Half

President’s Day Weekend was not only a superb time for me because I got to spend it with family, but also because it happened to coincide perfectly with my marathon training plans—in regards to the distance of the long run I had to complete.

My team had a group 14 miler scheduled that Sunday, but since I was spending all of my precious holiday weekend time with family, it made sense to register for a half marathon close by, and get into race mode before the marathon itself!

I woke up bright and early at 5:50am, and assembled all of my racing necessities (watch, camera, phone, change of clothes, etc.) and drove out with my Dad to San Leandro to make it to the start at 7:30am. The weather wasn’t frigid like it was back in December…in fact, it was the perfect condition for running. The race start was at a local park and by the bay, and I was delighted to learn that the 6.5 mile out-and-back course would have us hugging the coast the entire way!

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After picking up my bib, pre-race goody bag, and quickly stopping by the porta-potty, I huddled with the others in my half marathon tribe. 

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We were on our way a little after 8am, and we knew that the 10k and 5k runners would soon follow us. The course started off on paved roads, but soon we made our way over gravel and two wooden bridges. There were no menacing hills in sight—just a pleasant mist and the breezy, cool bay winds.

I felt pretty good for the first half of the half, clocking in paces below 9:20 and running at my “good day” pace. It has been a while since I’ve run anything less than 9:23/mi, and so I was glad to see I hadn’t “lost” my pace from before the intensity of my marathon training long runs. I stopped at the water station at the half way point for a few seconds to gulp down to paper cups of water, but then charged back up to speed. I originally thought it would be cool to shoot for a 2:00 hr half, but I let the pacer get too ahead of me from the get-go, so I let the idea of snatching a new half PR drift away. 

But even though I wasn’t aiming for a new half PR, I ended up getting one! I shaved off a little over a minute from my old PR, and so this race ended up being more than just a substitute long run 😀

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The medal was adorable too—one of the prettiest in my growing collection (it’s weighing down the board I tack my running medals on, haha!). 

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So after running for a little over 2 hours, it was time to grab some grub!

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I wasn’t in the mood for any of the pretzels, cookies, cakes, ice cream sandwiches, and bananas (shocking, I know…), but I was more than ready to stuff myself with some sweet potato chips!

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Courtesy of Food Should Taste Good

The Naked Juice truck was present again.

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Only this time, they weren’t pressing shirts. There were plenty of opportunities to try their smoothies though!

There weren’t too many sponsor tents up, but along with the copious amount of chip bags I collected, I also ended up with a free shirt from Sungevity. I passed on the massage though…

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We left the venue before noon, and spent the rest of the day with my cousin (more on that in a later post 🙂 ). After getting back home in the evening, I admired my lovely race shirt (not sure why there is an octopus, but it sort of fits in with the roses if you ask me) and offered my sister some of my chip packs. 

The next day was a REST day—on a Sunday! It must have been the first Sunday in ages that did not have running on the schedule, but sometimes it’s good to shake things up 😉 !

Do you like running incorporating shorter-distance races into longer-distance training plans? 

MTR: Week 15

MTR: Week 15

The big 2-0 wasn’t so bad. Actually, I think I would go as far as to say it was calming and hypnotic. The Strand (a bike/running path near that runs through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach) is one of my most favorite places to run, since there is always so much activity—-even as early as 8:00am on a Sunday morning. 

Sunday – LSD 20 miler group run at 10:03/mi

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 6 mile morning solo run at 9:51/mi

Wednesday –  6 mile morning solo run at 9:55/mi

Thursday –  8 mile morning solo run at 9:39/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday –  13.1 mile race at 9:24/mi [and new HM PR!]


Total Mileage ->   53.1 miles

Since our team wanted to finish up our run early before the sun came out and before the temperature started to rise, we had to leave our carpool spot at 7:00am, which meant I had to wake up an extra half hour early (which doesn’t seem to be a problem for me these days, since I’ve been getting up as early as 4am…). I was able to finally pick up a water bottle with a running strap over the weekend (Nathan Sports QuickShot Plus), and some Clif Shot Bloks in Tropical Punch!

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I was excited to find a tiny enough bottle that fit to the outside of my hand, and the straps were snug, but not too tight. The bottle itself holds about 10 oz. of water, and it got me through the first 13 miles. The zippered pouch on the outside was also the perfect size to hold my Shot Bloks once they were packaged tight in a ziploc baggie. 

By the time we got to our starting point at Dockweiler Beach, used the restroom, and gathered around our team captain to hear the route directions just to make sure we knew where we were going, we were off before my Garmin hit 8:00AM.

What was great about this run was being able to stick with a running buddy for 17 miles. My teammate was a trooper—carrying two plastic water bottles in each hand, and running without fuel because she couldn’t find GU at the store. I understood her predicament, and so I let her know before we started the run that she could ask for one of my Shot Bloks anytime to try it out. As a result, I ended up with a running buddy for the majority of the run 🙂

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Stuffing six, squishable Shot Bloks in a Ziploc bag that conveniently fit into the running bottle case.

Since I knew what to expect on the run up until we hit Harbor Parkway, it was not too difficult to “force” myself into getting distracted. The weather was cool and damp with overcast skies overhead. Being so close to the ocean, my skin began to feel sticky within the first 0.5 miles. It wasn’t the best feeling, but the Sunday morning ocean views were phenomenal. Running past the refinery, yogis perched on shed roofs (seriously!), and surfers retreating from their early morning surf were the sights that started off my run and put me in the zone.

My buddy and I left the Strand and ended up running inland versus trying to get back to running along the coast. We completely avoided a steep hill that we were supposed to come across before the turnaround at mile 10, and instead pushed on through Torrance, and the edge of Palos Verdes (from the residential side). My knees were starting to feel sore around the halfway point at mile 9—approaching 10—but it went away as soon as we turned around. 

I consumed my first Shot Blok at mile 11.8, and offered one to my running buddy as well. She compared it to tasting like a Starburst, and I could see where she was coming from, since it did have some strong fruity flavors. The effects of the small chew kicked in about 0.5 miles after consuming it, which was when I needed it the most! Miles 13-15 were hard to get through (mentally) even though we decided to run along the coast again.

I had two more Bloks at Mile 16.8, and the last two at around Mile 17.1, along with gulp-fulls of water from a nearby water fountain. That was exactly what I needed to get me through the final three miles. I felt a lot more energy as I approached our starting point, and finished in 3:21:00 solid, with a 10:03/mi pace!!

I had to leave as soon as I finished, since my ride had to get back as soon as he was done, so I didn’t have time to ask my running buddy how she felt the Shot Blok helped her (if it did at all). I suppose I’ll find out at out at our team’s final long run before we officially taper!

For the rest of the week, I ran my 6-8-6, even though it was mentally a struggle to get through each of them. I had to push up my long run (which would have been a 14 miler with my team) for Week 16 to Saturday, since I signed up for a half marathon (which I plan to recap in a separate post) to coincide with a visit home for the holiday weekend. So next week’s MTR will look pretty light compared to this week’s total of 53 miles, but I do look forward to having a rest day on a Sunday 😉

Do you run with your own water bottle/container on long runs? Or stop for it along the way?

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