Random thoughts from the mind of a runner

In very exciting news this weekend marked my last long run of marathon training. As of today I’m officially in taper mode.

Yesterday I headed out the door for a 22 mile run, and at mile 11 this is how it ended…

ice

Fun, right? No worries though…I’ve battled with mild plantar fasciitis for the last year or so. Typically I can keep it at bay by stretching and rolling my foot on a golf ball, but this week it got the best of me. After double races last weekend (one in older shoes…oops) and having to wear heels to work one day last week my foot screamed at me to stop. I was 7 miles away from home when I got picked up, and I probably could’ve toughed it out and trekked the rest of the way home. With a marathon 3 weeks away I decided calling it was probably the best option. No need to risk further injury especially knowing I’ve done the training, and yesterday’s long run was more for mental purposes than physical. I may opt for a long(ish) 15 mile run next weekend, but I’ll have to wait and see how the foot is feeling by then.

I’ve come to the conclusion my life revolves around running at the moment, so I thought I’d take a (semi) break from boring you with the fitness post and share a few things from my past week. Enjoy…

1) I discovered I have a drinking problem.
hydrate

2) Sacramento finally got a little more rain over the weekend, and I was treated to this pretty little sight.
rainbow

3) I discovered there are guns in my house…
arm

4) I decided to make it my number one goal today to make someone smile. It’s Monday and most people aren’t too happy about that. So I decided to change that for at least one person today.
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🙂 Happy Monday!

Two races. One epic weekend.

“Runners are crazy.” Chances are if you’re a runner you’ve heard that more times than you can count. I took my level of crazy to a whole new level (at least in my world) over the weekend.

I’ve completed a marathon…on a fairly flat course with a downhill profile. I’ve run back to back races…a 5k followed by a half marathon. This weekend I had a temporary lapse in sanity and agreed to run a half on Saturday followed by a half on Sunday. I also did this knowing that both courses were pretty tough, both involving hills, and one of those was in San Francisco. For those of you in the area you know what those SF hills are all about. If you aren’t so familiar with the area…well…they’re…um…fun? Haha!

Knowing what I was getting myself into my running partner and I decided to just take things slow, forget about pace, and just enjoy the view! What an excellent decision that was. Both courses involved great scenery, but unfortunately most of the ocean views in SF were covered by fog so early in the day.

So here we go. Saturday, half marathon #1, was the Folsom Blues half in the lovely Folsom, CA. The start line was located just above Folsom Prison (as the race is an excellent tribute to Mr. Johnny Cash) and wound it’s way onto the bike path, looped around Lake Natoma (which is where I first started running back in the day), and finished just before Sutter Street in Old Folsom. The hills on this course weren’t too bad…mostly small, rolling hills, but they take quite the toll on your legs nonetheless.

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After half marathon #1 on Saturday

Right after the race we hightailed it home for quick showers then were headed off to one of my favorite places…San Francisco, CA for half marathon #2…the Nike Women’s Half.

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Thankfully Nike offered early packet pickup the weekend before here in Sacramento, so we didn’t have to worry about making it to the expo in time. We made it to the city before the expo closed though, so we decided to go check it out and see what was going on. Pretty much the only exciting thing happening was the fact the Nike store in Union Square had all the names of each runner on it’s front window. We spotted our names and called it a day.

Sunday morning was a wake up call of 4 am, and we were headed to the start line. This race has been on my bucket list for awhile, so I was pretty darn excited it was finally happening. The race started in Union Square then wound it’s way around, through Golden Gate Park, up to the Golden Gate Bridge overlook area (that big hill!), and along the Presidio area into the finish. Afterwards we were greeted with little blue boxes from Tiffany’s and firefighters all fancied up in their suits and ties. We posed for a few photos along the course as well as with our firefighter (duh), but I won’t bore you with a million photos. If you want to see keep scrolling down, otherwise feel free to exit this post now. Haha!

All in all I’m very glad I decided to run both races. My legs were tired for Sunday’s race, but slowing down and just enjoying the race reminded me exactly why I love to run. And if you want to know my answer to that question of why I run? Well it’s just as simple an answer as the question…
because i can
Because I can 🙂

nwhm collage

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Nike Women’s finisher necklace

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At the start line, bright and early!

finishline shenanigans
“Will you be my beloved lifelong running partner?” Ha!

What did you do this weekend?

Luck of the Draw

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I typically always write the workouts through the week for my running partner and I. I guess she figures I’ve been at it long enough I know what I’m talking about, and we are both getting stronger so it must be working. 🙂

This week I got a little “lazy” and didn’t feel like writing a workout for today, so I reached back in the archives and found this bad boy. I’m a big fan of The Biggest Loser, and a few seasons ago Bob Harper used a variation of this workout for his team. I tried it about a year ago and couldn’t finish the deck of cards. Today I’m proud to say my workout buddies and I all made it through with almost 20 minutes left on the clock.

I was dripping in sweat and completely exhausted, but I have some major goals to accomplish and have to work on controlling my heart rate to reach those goals. Plyometrics is an excellent way to do this and change it up from running and track workouts to improve speed and agility.

So here’s how it works if you want to give it a go:

First, pick 4 exercises (think full body). Match each one to a suit in a deck of cards, and start drawing cards. The number on your card is the number of reps for whichever suit/exercise combo. I put a 45 minute time cap on our workout to see how far we could get. We finished the deck, so next time I’ll bump the time up to 20-30 minutes to see how much we’ve improve.

It’s a safe bet (ahhh see what I did there?) you’ll bust a sweat, but I promise you’ll feel like a badass once you make it through!

Oh and if you’re wondering….That’s 93 reps per suit…for 372 reps total! Have fun 🙂

Mileage = Burgers

I guess I should start with a little back story seeing as this is my first official post. Last year I decided to blog my way through training for my first marathon, but I haven’t done any blogging since then. I decided I would try my hand at this blogging thing again as a way to hold myself more accountable for making healthier choices. Since I have 2 (yes 2!) marathons coming up in the next 2 months I decided I’d actually have something worthy of talking (blogging) about.

This past Saturday I hit the big 2-0 for marathon training. It was pretty exciting since a) my running partner has NEVER hit 20 miles before, and b) my last 20 miler was almost a year ago during my first marathon. It feels good (and slightly sore) to be back in the twenty mile gang!

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Just a little mid-run photo shoot. Those little heart shaped leaves reminded me of the quote “Run with you heart and your legs will follow.” It was a nice little reminder at mile 13 of 20. 🙂

A little while back my running partner and I made a deal that we would have a burger to celebrate our first 20 miler. I opted for the best Sacramento has to offer and visited Broderick in West Sacramento. For those of you in the area I hope you’ve had the joy of experiencing such a place, and if not you better get to it! I had the Gold Rush burger which has a lot of bacon and mac’n’cheese on the burger (delicious right?!). For the record this is the first burger I’ve eaten since February, and I promise I don’t reward my long runs with such glorious cheat meals on a regular basis! Here’s a little glimpse at what that beauty looked like along with a wonderful side of gorgonzola and mushroom fries….

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It was definitely worth the wait!

Another pretty exciting task on my to do list over the weekend was packet pick-up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. I’ve waited a long time to be able to check this one off my bucket list, so I’m pretty darn excited about this upcoming weekend!

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Some of my goodies from packet pick-up!

I really didn’t think my team would get picked for the Nike Women’s race, so I also signed up for a half marathon on Saturday just in case. I was a little on the fence about doing back to back half marathons once I found out I’d be running the Nike Women’s, but I’ve finally given into the idea of doing both races. I figured I’m 4 weeks out from my first marathon of the year, so I might as well run a marathon over a weekend for training purposes. Plus I know I can do it, and they’re both pretty tough courses that will be good for my mental game.

It should be a fun, jam packed weekend ahead, so stay tuned for the update on my “marathon over a weekend” coming soon! 🙂