SacTown Run Around!

Hello again!

I just got home from running a 10 mile race (actually Starbucks but that’s not the point) here in good ol’ Sacramento!  My running partner is out of town this weekend, so I decided earlier this week to sign up for the Credit Union SacTown 10 that was going on to make sure I got my 9 miles of training in while she was away.  It worked because I drug my butt out of bed and headed off to the Capitol grounds bright and early this morning!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos because I decided to run phone-less today and disconnect.  My dad actually played cheerleader/water boy/photographer and biked the course while my stepmom and I ran, so I didn’t actually end up running solo like I thought I was going to.

It was a perfect morning to run.  A little chilly waiting around the start line but it didn’t take long to warm up!  The course changed this year after an incident with a train coming through the middle of the course about a mile in last year, so there was a new 5 mile course and the 10 turned into a double loop of that 5 mile route.  I was actually kind of dreading that double loop, but it really wasn’t so bad especially since it wound through some of my favorite areas to run around Sactown!

I ended up walking away with a 2 minute PR over my fastest 10 miler and over 5 minute PR from this same race last year (that may have been something to do with there not being a train in the way this time!), and I’m slowing inching closer and closer to finally tackling that long standing half marathon PR.  I know it will come eventually, so I’m just going to keep working hard until I finally see it happen!

No more races on the schedule for me for awhile, but as of this week I’m officially back in marathon training to prepare for the San Francisco Marathon in July.  I can’t wait to be able to cross that one off the bucket list! I’m sure you’ll all be hearing from me soon as all those training runs start getting longer and longer!

So until next time…

Shamrock’n Half Marathon

Hello blog world! Man it’s been awhile…I’ve been slacking! Actually slacking probably isn’t the best word. More like I’ve been a busy little bee between work and getting ready for the half marathon I ran this past Sunday! I definitely need to get back on this blogging train though. 🙂

First off…Happy St. Paddy’s Day! My favorite day to celebrate! 😉
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So after my marathon back in December I decided I wanted to refocus my goals for 2015. Instead of just racing any and every race I wanted to pick a select few and really focus on those as they came. I still want to race a few of my favorites throughout the year, but I don’t want to take the fun out of it by putting a lot of pressure on every single race. I tend to let myself get very disappointed when I don’t see improvement, so I’m hoping the change in focus keeps that from happening this year.

With that being said my first “big” race of 2015 was this past Sunday. It’s a Sacramento-area favorite…the Shamrock’n half marathon. It’s kind of the unofficial kick off of race season around here, and it’s a course I know very well as my marathon training has me spending lots of time on a majority of the course throughout the year. Since I know the course well I was dead set on finally taking down that half marathon PR that’s been standing for too long!

Except the exact opposite of that happened.

I was frustrated BIG TIME by mile 3. I put in extra time in the gym, extra speed work, extra weekly mileage, etc. than I ever have before, but Sunday wasn’t my day. It was the warmest day I’ve ran since the weather cooled off last fall, and I overheated quick. By mile 3 my body was shutting down and I knew my PR hopes were gone. I switched into survival mode and toughed out the last 10 miles to make it to the end. I ended up finishing somewhere around the 2:45:00 mark…not my best but definitely not my worst. It’s okay though. I’ll get that PR eventually, but I didn’t have a PR race in me for Sunday. It wasn’t my day…yet.

Here’s a shot coming up to the last turn into the finish courtesy of a few friends who were out cheering everyone on!
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I’m shocked I don’t look half dead because at that point I was convinced I was done for. Haha!

I definitely handled this disappointment much better than I would’ve this time last year. I know I put in the work to achieve my goal, but it just didn’t happen. I have another half marathon coming up in 2 weeks, so I’m shifting focus over to that one for now. The last time I ran this particular race it was hot, so I’m planning to be more prepared for the heat than I was this past weekend. I don’t think the course I’ll be running at the end of the month is a PR-able course for me personally, but you never know what will happen.

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Our only true failures are the ones we learn nothing from. This past weekend I learned that no matter how hard you work sometimes things just don’t go your way. And the only thing you can do at that point is wipe the dirt off and look forward to the next task. That PR is eventually going down, and I’m not going to let up until I get it!

In the meantime I’m just going to enjoy the journey and the awesome running friends I get to share it with.
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Oh and by the way those 2 lovely ladies on the left completed their first half marathon EVER, and I had the pleasure of crossing the finish line right next to that little red-headed one for her first time. So very proud of all my little runner girls…especially since we all had a tough go on Sunday!

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Hope everyone has a safe and happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Whole30 Check-in: day 29

I can’t believe tomorrow is the last day finally! I’m so excited to accomplish something that I wasn’t sure I could do on day 1.

It’s helped me refocus and realize how much more important it is to eat good foods versus counting calories so much. Obviously your intake is important to staying on track or losing weight, but eating 300 calories of veggies and good protein is better than 300 calories wasted on a Starbucks drink. I also never realized how much added sugar is in EVERYTHING! I’ve even figured out I can go out to eat and not blow my hard work by ordering junk. There are healthy options, and every place I’ve gone to has been willing to make modifications as they can to help me out. It’s all just a matter of being willing to ask. 🙂

Since tomorrow is Saturday and I’m not sure what I’ll be up to I took my “after” photos this morning.

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I did cheat once. Whole30 rules state no scale, but I hopped on the scale day 15 to see my half way progress. At that point I had lost 5.2 pounds. I am waiting until Sunday to weigh again, but I don’t feel like I’ve lost anymore weight (which is fine because I didn’t do this so much to lose weight). Not a big change, but I am noticing subtle differences that no one else will probably see. My clothes fit better, and I feel so much better. I never got that afternoon burst of energy some people talked about, but I did notice I haven’t had an afternoon crash. I feel like I have a more steady stream of energy all day long, and that’s one thing I loved most about this experience. That’s also what’s encouraging me to stay on track with the habits I’ve picked up this past month.

As a distance runner Whole30 isn’t something I feel I can maintain long term, so I’m planning to follow it with the exception of allowing myself brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat bread. I do want to continue cutting the starchy carbs and watching my sugar and dairy intake, and I plan to allow myself a weekly cheat day. The hardest part of this process was knowing I couldn’t eat something, so I’m hoping allowing myself that cheat will also help me want it less.

One more day of Whole30 eating tomorrow and then an epic cheat day for the annual Super Bowl party! I’m excited to get to eat a few treats, but I know how I’ll feel groggy and stuffed after so it won’t be long before I’m ready to get back to my healthier Whole30 gained habits!

Thanks for following along and helping me stay accountable this month! 🙂

Whole30 Check-in: Day 24

Oh so close!!! This time next week I’ll be stuffing my face with nachos and beer at our annual Super Bowl party, and I’m sure it will taste twice as nice as celebration of my Whole30 challenge coming to an end!

I’m really excited for the challenge to be finished simply because I want so much stuff just for the reason I’m not supposed to eat it right now! I’m very pleasantly surprised that I’ve made it this far (and at this point I know I’ll make it to the end). I was honestly afraid I would get a few days in and then start binging on bad food. I always pay attention to what I eat, do eating healthy isn’t the hard part for me. The hardest part is not allowing myself a cheat day (or two sometimes).

I have quite the list of foods I want to eat once this is over next week. I don’t plan on eating the whole list, but I’m going to choose a few things that I’m really craving and treat myself on Sunday. I’ve discovered when I have a craving writing it down helps it go away. It’s like telling myself “ok. You can eat this on this day since it’s on the list.” I know there are things on there I simply wanted because I saw it and couldn’t have it, so I most likely won’t want to waste a cheat on them. But a cupcake? You better believe I’m hunting one of those bad boys down on Sunday!

I’m not sure about doing another Whole30 challenge anytime soon, but I do want to keep my healthier habits I’ve gained during this past few weeks. I’m planning to stick with the Whole30 guidelines with a little less restriction. As a runner I need carbs, so being able to add back in brown rice and quinoa will make it easier to get what I need. Although I have gotten a little creative on getting my carbs in and been on a major sweet potato kick lately!

Ok enough Whole30.

A little weekend recap: today was “long” run day. Since I stepped back my training a little post marathon my long run consisted of 7 miles today. I ran with a friend training for her first half marathon this morning, so it was a nice change from the usual. Different person, different route…still good company. 🙂 My running partner in crime wasn’t feeling well, so I definitely missed her but happy I had someone else to make sure I showed up this morning and put the miles in.

In other exciting news I bought a new car this weekend! I downgraded from my big ol SUV to a more economical Prius. Ha! I guess that means my Cali girl transformation is officially complete!

Now I’m spending my Sunday evening meal prepping and getting ready to tackle the week ahead. One of the keys to success is being prepared, so Whole30 has definitely got me back in the habit of preparing ahead…not just with food but also just my schedule in general. Who knew a post holiday challenge would make such a big difference? 😉

Whole30 Check-in: day 15

Woohoo! Today is officially the halfway point in my whole30 challenge!

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I must say after my “carb crash” last week things have been so much better! I’m no longer having cravings, and it gets easier every day to say no to things not whole30 compliant.

As I’m getting more comfortable and confident with my new eating habits I’ve been able to eat out with a little less worry this past week. It’s been nice to know days I’m running late I have a cafe at work where I can still get healthy foods and stay on track. It helps take away that “I don’t have time” excuse.

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I felt a little lazy after the gym Monday evening, so on my way home I grabbed an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the store and quick sautéed some veggies when I got home. I managed to eat all of the chicken for dinner this week and didn’t even have to cook! I just pulled the skin off because I wasn’t sure what all was used on it. It feels good to finally be finding the balance of eating out or grabbing something quick on my way home and still stay compliant with the challenge. This should definitely help my long term eating habits (which was exactly what I wanted going into it!).

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One of the toughest parts of this last week was on Sunday. I ran my first race of 2015 which just so happened to be the Hot Chocolate 15k in San Francisco. It was pretty tough passing up all the chocolate goodies along the course and waiting at the finish line, but I came in with a 7 minute PR and let that be motivation to stay focused on my plan.
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So far I still haven’t gotten this energy burst so many people talk about, but I have gone without coffee most days this week. I haven’t felt too tired until the end of the day, so maybe it’s giving me more energy than I think. 😉

Well meal prepping is underway for this next week, and then I’ll be into the home stretch!

I’m glad to see the halfway point today, but I’m ready to celebrate with the Super Bowl (and hopefully watch my team play!) and a nice cold beer!

My Year of Running 2014

Every year Miss Zippy posts a “link-in” questionnaire about how your year of running was. It’s always fun to take a look back at all the hard work I’ve done throughout the year, so I decided to join in and give these questions a go. If you want to join in the fun click the link at the bottom of this post to link in your own response!

Ok here goes…

■Best race experience? This one is easy. The California International Marathon without a doubt! This was the race I worked towards all year long, and I walked away from it with a PR of 21 minutes over last year’s CIM. It was also my running partner’s first full which made it even more fun being a part of her huge accomplishment.

■Best run? Hmmm…this one’s tough. There were plenty of bad runs in 2014 to go along with the good, but I think probably the best was my first 20 mile run this year. It just felt good to hit that number again!

■Best new piece of gear? Easily my new Garmin Forerunner 220!
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■Best piece of running advice you received? I struggled a lot mentally this year. I was putting way too much pressure on the numbers, and in that I lost my joy for running. I think the best thing I read all year was “Run grateful because every mile is a gift.” The numbers don’t matter if you don’t enjoy the journey. And this hobby of mine is a gift because too many people I love can’t enjoy it, but I can…so I do it for them.

■Most inspirational runner? By far my dad. I’ve had the pleasure of spending many miles by his side, but undoubtedly my favorite was having him by my side for that first 26.2 miles I ever finished. And the old man is twice my age and still easily out runs me!

■If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Tough, sweaty, emotional, but most importantly fun!

Now it’s your turn! Answer your questions and then link in here:
http://misszippy1.com/2014/12/year-of-running-2.html

CIM 12.7.14

Hello blog world! Man I’ve been seriously slacking on my posts lately! So what’s happened since my last post? Well let’s see…I’m a year older as of 2 weeks ago, and I finished my second marathon. Now I’m busy getting ready for Christmas that completely snuck up on me this year!

Ok, so back to that marathon thing… When I ran the CIM last year (my first marathon) it was 21 degrees at start time (burrr), but I’m happy to report that start time this year was a toasty 48 degrees! It made for a much better start and run overall I must say. The first time around I finished at 6:06:28 after a hamstring cramp at mile 17 and hobbling the rest of the way in. This year…no cramping! I came across the finish line with a monster PR of 21 minutes with an official time of 5:45:43.

I’m so happy to see the improvements my body has made over the past year. It’s hard to compare this race to that race, but one thing I love about running the same race each year is being able to actually compare and judge my progress on the same course. It’s also nice to see the strength in my legs help me recover quicker this year, so I’m happy to know all my hard work over the past 12 months really paid off.

This was my running partner’s first marathon, so I had a blast being able to run with her. She asked me about a year and a half ago to take her out on a run to help her get back into shape. That very first run she couldn’t even make it through a mile, so being able to watch her improve from there has been the best part. I’ve always wanted to be able to inspire others, and I feel truly honored that she trusted me enough to listen to my advice and training guidance to help her accomplish such a huge goal. Not much can compare to crossing that marathon finish line for the first time, but getting to do it a second time with someone I’ve seen get stronger and more confident every day was pretty dang close!

Here are a few pics from race day…

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One thing I was really disappointed about with the Nike Women’s Half in SF earlier this year was not being able to snap a pic with my name on the window in Union Square because it was so busy. I was really excited the CIM decided to do their own little version of that this year, and I had to have a pic of my name up there with all the others!

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This is probably my favorite finish line photo ever! I couldn’t be happier to have taken every step from training runs to 26.2 miles next to this lady!

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I love the smile on her face! So proud to have been apart of her journey, and so grateful my brother was at the finish line to catch the best part of any race…the finish line hug. Because sweaty hugs are the best kind 🙂

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And last but not least the bling proudly displayed alongside my other race medals.

It’s safe to say that even over a week later I’m still rocking a pretty mean runner’s high. I felt overwhelmed with my accomplishment the first time around, but the second time was even better being able to see so much improvement in myself over the year.

My 2014 racing season has officially come to an end, but I’m already planning ahead for 2015. My goal for next year is to back off the racing schedule a little bit and focus on particular races and getting faster. Next up on the agenda is the Shamrock’n Half here in Sacramento coming up in March. I know the course well, so I KNOW I can finally take down that half marathon PR that’s been standing for too long! I also already have the San Francisco Marathon on the 2015 schedule, and I’ve heard I’m going to be running the CIM again as well. So after a week off from running, workouts, and healthy eating I’m officially back to training next Monday!

After all that 2014 brought I can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for me. So until next time….! 🙂