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…

Modesto 1/2 Marathon and a little DIY

Hello!

There’s been A LOT going on since my last post! Especially last week…

I started a new job (promotion after 2 long years!), got into a car accident, bought a new car, and crossed the finish line of my 19th (!!!!) half marathon!

My dad and step mom decided a while back to run the Modesto Marathon this year. I still wanted more “down” time after the CIM so I opted for the half marathon instead. I had a much better race than I did 2 weeks ago despite it being hotter this time around. I think my attitude going in had a BIG impact on my results. I crossed the finish line in 2:37:35…not my fastest but it was a course PR over my 2013 finish! I’ll take that kind of progress any day!

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One of my favorite things about the Modesto Marathon is the race swag! This year they had bottles of special made Celebration Red for finishers 🙂 that’s my kind of race!

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I made it across the finish line then headed for food and cold water and a change of clothes. I made it back to finish line just in time to catch the tail end of the women Boston qualifiers. It’s so inspiring to watch these ladies (and men) achieve such an awesome goal…especially seeing them turn the corner to the finish line and realize they can make it to a BQ!

I hung out a few hours cheering on the end of the half and the marathoners until I finally saw my step mom round the corner. She finished with a 26 minute PR! My dad rounded the corner a few minutes later after dealing with a hamstring cramp. He was greeted with high fives and cheers from his girls and trotted on into the finish line.

It was an awesome weekend with the family and made me even more excited for my next marathon! Props to the race director and volunteers for making our race day such a good experience!

In other news I had the day off today and decided to get a little crafty. I’ve been looking forever for something to do with my race bibs and finally found something I liked on pinterest yesterday. Unfortunately I can’t remember what blog it was from to give credit to, but this wasn’t my idea! (So sorry!)

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I grabbed these letters from the craft store, picked a few of my bibs that were important races to me and arranged them out how I wanted them on each letter.

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After I had them laid out I cut slits to make them easier to wrap around the letters. I used mod podge to stick them on, but I had to use hot glue to keep the edges down around the back and on a few that wouldn’t stick over the other bibs. Then I topped it off with a little more mod podge to make sure everything was stuck down well and give a little glossy over coat.

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Finished product! Overall a very simple project but very time consuming since I’m so picky about things. Now I can’t wait to get them hung with the rest of my bibs and medals! 🙂

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!

Taper mode: ON

One of my favorite times of training is taper time. One of my favorite times of the year (especially for running) is fall. I dislike when the two happen at the same time! Sacramento is FINALLY having some cool, crisp, fall weather, and all I want to do is run!!!! I have a 3 mile training run on the agenda for tomorrow and can’t wait to be off work to get outside and go.

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Taper time makes me restless because I actually miss all the time and miles. It makes me feel like a horse about to be let out of the gate at the Kentucky Derby, so I’m ready for race day!

I do really enjoy the rest that comes with tapering though. After all the miles and hours spent on weekends tackling long runs it feels nice to have the energy and time to do some things I really enjoy aside from running. This past weekend was my first without a long run in a few months, so I headed up to Apple Hill to soak in a little fall air and enjoy the last of the pumpkin patches. I indulged a little bit and had an apple donut, slice of apple pie, and of course plenty of hot cider (okay maybe I indulged more than a little). 😉

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I mean really? How could I say no?!

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It doesn’t look pretty, but it was delish!

I also indulged in a little Halloween fun with family and friends on Friday evening. I don’t drink a month before a marathon, so I enjoyed being the only sober person at the party (no really I had a blast!) and made sure my friends all made it home safe. I was surprised at how entertaining it is to watch the night progress, and I also learned I’m equally as terrible at beer pong when I’m sober.

All in all it was a pretty good, relaxing weekend, but I was looking forward to getting back in the gym today. I eased into the week with a cross training day on the bike followed by an hour yoga class. It felt nice to stretch out and relax after a busy Monday in the office, and bright and early tomorrow morning I’ll be back at it with a light leg day just to keep them strong and ready for race day.

9 more days until I’m headed to Vegas, and only 13 days until I’ll be running the strip for marathon #2! I can’t wait to share more of my journey as it goes!

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…

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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.
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2) Sacramento finally got a little more rain over the weekend, and I was treated to this pretty little sight.
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3) I discovered there are guns in my house…
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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…
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Because I can 🙂

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Nike Women’s finisher necklace

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At the start line, bright and early!

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

What did you do this weekend?

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! 🙂