Reflect on 2017 and Goals for 2018

Happy New Year! The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the year that has passed and think about what we want to accomplish in the upcoming year. For me 2017 wasn’t all the great.  It wasn’t a bad year but it was one that was challenging and difficult emotionally.

For starters, I ran the Surf City Marathon in February. I had a goal time of 4:20 and I crossed the finish line in 4:39. I was LESS than thrilled.  Emotionally I was upset and physically I was drained.  I so badly wanted to hit that goal and coming off of Ironman I thought that I would be able to. It didn’t happen.  A marathon isn’t something that you just go and do over either so I knew that it was going to be a long road ahead before I ran another one.

Then it was a roller coaster of “I want to race again, no wait I don’t want to race again.” When all your team mates are signed up for an Ironman and you are hearing about all their training and how they are feeling it is so easy to get caught up in all of that.  It is also easy to get down on yourself and feel like you aren’t doing enough.  There was a conversation at least twice a week with me telling Evan that I wanted to do another Ironman and him telling me that was not a good idea.  To be honest, it was draining.

In July I ran the Napa to Sonoma half marathon and I finished the race in 1:52.  It was not a PR for me however it was a course PR so that was exciting.  Emotionally it was great to have set a goal and make it happen.  It was awesome to see that all my hard work had paid off and I was so excited to have crossed that finish line and felt like I had done the best I could.

I put training on hold in August and took the month to recoup and get ready to return back to work.  Evan and I took a trip to Kauai and had a wonderful time.  When we returned I had no idea that I would be faced with the biggest emotional mess of the year…I didn’t know it but my fur baby Eldrick was sick and there wasn’t anything that we could do to help him.  At the end of the month we had to say goodbye.  Those who know me know that I LOVE my cats. I really love them.  This guy was beyond special to me so to have that take away was such a devastation. 4 months later and I admit that I still cry about what happened.  I miss him everyday.

In October I ran the Long Beach half marathon.  I really don’t like that race and I only did it so that I could get my beach cities challenge medal.  I was signed up for the marathon however I didn’t train enough and was majorly lacking motivation so I just did the half.  It was a good choice for me.

The end of the year came and went in a rush and it was full of lots of cheer and fun.  I had a wonderful time with my students at our Thanksgiving Feast, seeing Santa, the Christmas program and our 5th annual Polar Express Day.  We even had a mini Star Wars day to celebrate the release of the new movie.  Christmas came and went and it was fun to spend time with the family.  Evan and I went to a UCLA Basketball game and we also went to watch the L.A. Rams take on the SF 49ers at a football game.  A great way to end the year.

All in all I admit that I am glad 2017 is behind me, it wasn’t a great year. It did allow me to reflect on myself and what I want to accomplish in 2018.  There have been several people discussing that they are picking a word for the year.

The word I pick? Spirit.

I want to be able to work on my spirituality and really dive in when I am at church.  I began attending a bible study and with all the things going on I only went once.  Now that I am back to a normal schedule I am going to make the time to attend the weekly sessions.

I want to have a positive spirit.  I want people to know that I am someone who loves what I do and who is positive.  I want my spirit to be one that people want to be around.  I also want people with good spirits to be around me.  I want them to be able to lift my spirit when I am feeling down and I want to be able to do to the same for them. I really do understand now that we shouldn’t take anything for granted and that life really is short so we need to be the best that we can be during this lifetime.

I want a spirit that is driven.  I want to be able to finish the Santa Rosa 70.3 Ironman strong and have a spirit that won’t break during training.  I can do it.

I am deciding to set a word for me rather than goals.  It seems that when I set goals this early on they get lost in the shuffle of life so I am going to take each month at a time and assess what needs to get done.

I know that it take effort to ensure that you make your life more positive and the best it can be.  If I just sit back and wait I don’t think that anything will happen.  I need to jump in and make sure that I am an advocate for my positive spirit.  Here is to 2018 and making sure that I make the best out of it!

 

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Trying to get back into the swing

Well, I have registered for IMSR 70.3 and I am excited to race in the summer.  I also have Surf City 13.1 in February.  Those are the 2 races so far for 2018.  I am sure that there will be another one in there but those are my focus right now.

I am eager to get back into training again.  I asked Evan when he thought I would have to start waking up in the morning to workout and he replied “When you have to.” Which will most likely be in February.  I need to train myself to wakeup earlier before I try to wake up and work out!

I rode outside a couple weeks ago. My first time riding outside since January! I went 10 months without riding outside. I have NO idea how I made that happen but I did.  It was actually fun to get out there and ride with someone.  I had a good time.  I was also pretty impressed with my average speed.  I was able to maintain a 14.6 MPH. I did 14.8 when I rode IMAZ.  Now, that was also 72 miles longer than a couple weeks ago but I was glad to see I still have it in me.

Next weekend Evan and I are going to Arizona to watch my friend Annette complete Ironman Arizona.  I am so excited for her and I can not wait to cheer for her as she crosses that finish line and it told that she is an Ironman.  This is the day that we live for. Blood sweat and tears have gone into this training for her and I am so excited to be apart of her amazing day! I told Evan not to let me get caught up in it and try to sign up for it again though!

Next week officially kicks off my training for Surf City where I am hoping to run under 1:50 for the half.  With proper training and nutrition I know that I can do it.  I have to give it my all.  Running is a very important aspect for me because that is where I make up time during the triathlons as well.  I am not a strong cyclist so I need that run to carry me along.  Do I dare say that I could do a 2:05 half marathon after the swim and the bike? I think I can! I know this is physical but it is also mental.

So just a blog post for myself to check back in and get the ball rolling again! Happy training!

277 days to go

Well, I know in my last post I said that there was another race on the back burner and that I was going to focus on the Surf City 13.1…I signed up for Santa Rosa 70.3! So I guess that it is no longer on the back burner and it’s in the front and needs to be trained for.  I am excited to train but most importantly I am excited to do well! I am very proud of my accomplishment at Santa Cruz 70.3 as well as IMAZ and those 2 races will always be special since they were my first ones.  Now is the time to train and train hard.  It will be time to hit goals, make new ones and hit those as well.  It will be time to, dare I say this, step it up on the bike. I will have to climb, and go fast, take cycle classes, and cycle on my own.  I will have to drive to locations so that I can get elevation and will have to meet other people so I stay accountable with this training.  I know that there are some people who will say “oh, it’s just a half. You already did a full so this is easy.” It won’t be.  I haven’t been training for triathlons.  I have been training for running which is great but it is different training for all three.  Especially when you want to excel at all 3 this time around.  Back to the early wake ups because there is a workout.  Back to the double days and speed work.

I don’t think I mentioned that I am going to have a friend to race with! This will be his 2nd 70.3 distance and his first Ironman event.  I am excited that he is going to be racing as well.  It makes me want to do my workouts because I don’t want to be the slacker of the two of us! That and I am the one who sort of said this was fun. I can’t be miserable during the race!

I am excited to get back to training.  I do have Surf City first and that is my only 13.1 that I am running this year.  Santa Rosa 70.3 is the only other race that I am doing in 2018.  That is okay with me.  I am excited for it. My goal time? 6:30:00. I can make it happen with time and dedication I might even stop drinking (maybe). For now I am off to the first back at it workout, a cycle class.

 

Back at it

I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon last weekend and to say run is really a lie.  It was more of a of pathetic jog where I barely picked my feet up off the ground.  It was bad.  What did I expect though? I literally had 3 training runs in September.  Yea, THREE. How is that going to help me get faster? It’s not. This is what happens to me though, I get into the grove and I have an amazing race (Napa to Sonoma) and then I bonk out and suck it up and my next race.  The good news? That always gives me the motivation to do better at my next race.

I am going to be racing Surf City on Super Bowl Sunday.  I want to PR at this race.  My current PR is 1:49:18. ANYTHING less than that would be acceptable but I want 1:47. I can do it with time and effort to make it happen.  Honestly when I think about it, training for a half marathon doesn’t take that much time out of the day.  The weekends are longer but it really is usually no more than 2 hours.  If I am not lazy and get up early I can make it happen.

Then there is that 70.3 itch that I have. I would love to compete in Santa Rosa July 2018 and do that 70.3 that is offered.  At this point I want to do the 140.6 they have to offer! Go big or go home.  However I don’t think I have the time to train for another full at this point.  I know that there is enough time for me to train and do really well but Evan would also be less than thrilled if I did another full! I am hoping that I can pull the trigger and sign up for a 70.3 in 2018. It is something that I want to do again.  I just have to do some research but right now I am leaning for Santa Rosa.

I am going to focus on the 13.1 Surf City half that is in February but on the back burner there will be a bigger race for me to conquer.

Napa to Sonoma recap

It has been a little over 2 weeks since the half marathon so it’s time to recap!

This race is different from others because there are very few spectators on the course.  You are running through vineyard roads so the only people you see are the water station volunteers.  I love this are because it is really easy to get in the running zone and go for your goals.  It is quiet so I can settle in easy.  After training for the Ironman I never wear headphones when I workout anymore so I don’t have any distractions.

Evan and I arrived in Sonoma on Saturday and we right to packet pickup.  We headed over to check out the vendors and grabbed a yummy ice cream that So Delicious was handing out (they were so delicious!) We didn’t spend too much time at packet pick up because it was very very hot and there were a lot of people there.  We wanted to get back to the hotel and get organized before the race the next day.  We gathered our stuff and headed out.  When we got to the hotel we checked in and got our running things ready to go.  We always go next door to a winery for a taste so we did.  We try to not overindulge the night before the race because nobody likes to run with a hangover! We ate dinner with my parents (pizza!) and then headed back to the room.  We had a 5am wake up call so we went to bed around 9.

The alarm went off and it was time to start getting ready.  There are some races where I wake up quickly and I am ready to go and there are others where it takes me a little to get ready.  I was having a tough time waking up for this race so took a few extra minutes.  When I finally got up I was ready for some coffee and a clif bar.  We headed out the door at 5:30 to catch the shuttle to the start.  It was already warm outside. We had on light jackets but they were not necessary.  I knew that it was going to be a hot race so I had to prepare myself.

When we arrived at the start line the sun was up and there was not a cloud in the sky.  We took off our jackets and we checked them in.  I was getting worried about the heat but there wasn’t anything I could do about it so I decided to just run my best race.

The race began 10 minutes late at 7:10am.  I was nervous because I was going for a course PR and wasn’t sure if I could make it.  My current time on the course was 1:53:20 and I wanted to do better.  The gun went and it was time to run.  I knew that Evan would be in front of me, and my mom was going to be behind me.  Evan and I ran the first .3 miles together and then got separated by all the people.  I didn’t mind since I had a plan I needed to stick to.  I settled into a pace and was ready to go.

The plan for the race was the first 3 miles at 8:50 pace, the next 7 miles at an 8:35 pace and the last 3 give it what I am got left.

Miles summary:

1 8:47.4
2 8:36.3
3 8:46.1
4 8:35.5
5 8:28.1
6 8:36.3
7 8:23.3
8 8:22.8
9 8:40.4
10 8:16.9
11 8:34.4
12 8:54.6
13 8:35.1
14 1:29.8
Summary: Time: 1:53:07  Distance: 13.19  Avg. Pace: 8:34

I tried my best to stick with the plan and overall I think I did a good job.  I felt really good after mile 3 and was ready to pick up the pace.  I knew that I could hold it for at least 4 miles without feeling too breathless and tired.  Around mile 9 is when the race did start to get tough for me.  The sun came out and there was no shade.  It was very hot, and I dropped my water at this station and didn’t bother going back to get another.  I thought there would be water at mile 10 but had to wait until 11.  I was thirsty and I was hot but I had to keep pushing.  I knew that I needed an 8:35 pace to make the time of 1:52:50 that I wanted for the race.  There was a time when I was on track for a 1:50 but the sun got the best of me and I had to slow down.

At mile 12 I looked at my watch and realized that I had a pretty slow pace and it was time to pick it up.  I knew that I wasn’t going to make my goal with the pace I was holding so I dug deep and picked it up. It worked! At mile 13 you can hear everyone cheering and there are a lot of spectators so it is awesome.  I picked it up even more and I crossed that finish line in 1:52:55. A new course record!!! I was thrilled and so so excited that the race went as well as it did.  All my training paid off! It was a great feeling.

Evan set a PR and my mom was only 30 seconds off of placing in her age group! We all had an amazing race and can’t wait to do it again next year.

This was a great summer race and a confidence booster for me as well.  I had a goal and I met it which makes me so excited.  What’s next? Long Beach Marathon.  The goal? Sub 4:00:00.

 

Napa to Sonoma this weekend

I have 3 days between me and the Destination Races Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon.  Another 13.1 miles to put in the book.  Can I do it? Of course.  No doubt in my mind I will get out there and have a great time.

So, why stress? Well the biggie that I am stressed about is the running fast part.  I don’t even think I am “stressing” about it I am just concerned that I will hit that wall. Why? I have not been able to run fast in quite some time.  I have just been running to run.  Or when I do run it is because I have a huge goal to meet and I need to finish that run to get to the finish line.  It has been a little bit since I have put a goal on a half marathon.  When I ran the OC Half back in May I was trying to get under 2:00:00 and I did it! I was so excited to get there and see the results.  After it was over I went right into training for Napa to Sonoma.  This training was TOUGH! Lots of speed work, pick ups and sprinting. There were long runs, short runs, swimming and cycling involved as well.  I did nearly all my workouts.  I missed a few of course. Here is the breakdown:

There were 57 total workouts for this training and I completed 47 of them.  82%.

Of the 57 workouts 25 of them were running workouts and I completed 23: 92%

So that means that I missed 8 workouts that were a swim or a cycle. On those days that were missed I typically did a light walk or weights.

Overall I am very pleased with  my schedule and what I was able to complete.  I ran over 100 miles in both May and June and I am feeling ready for the race.  I am beginning to drink more water and get in some electrolytes as well.

Now for the goal: my PR for a half marathon is 1:49:55 and I know that is going to be something I can’t reach this race. My course goal is 1:53:25 and that’s what I am chasing.  I am looking to finish anywhere between 1:52:30-1:56 but in all honesty I am going for 1:52:30. That is an 8:35 per mile pace.  My set up for the race is the first 3 miles at 8:50 and the next 7 at 8:35 and the last 3 to self evaluate and see what I can do.  The last 3 miles are always tough but when there is a goal to get somehow it does become a little easier.

Whatever the outcome of the race Sunday I am excited to be apart of it all! I can’t wait to report back my race recap!

26.2 decided

I decided that I wanted to run another marathon earlier this month.  I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to do but I did know that I didn’t want to travel far (or at all) and ideally I would like to know the course. I also wanted to do it THIS YEAR.  I am not the type that will decide something and then wait for it.  I decide, and I do. So with that being said I chose the 2017 Long Beach Marathon in October! Now, every time I have done the half at Long Beach I curse my way through, say bad words and am convinced and I am running on the surface of the sun because it is so hot. Why would I chose to do the full then?! Because I want to, that’s why.

Earlier this month I ran the OC half marathon and impressed myself with my time.  I had no idea that it was going to go as well as it did.  It was very very tough and there were times when I wasn’t sure I wanted to run anymore. If I just walked a little it would be fine but I didn’t walk! I didn’t want to cross the finish line knowing that I had something left to give.  I was able to produce a negative split the last 6 miles which for me was great.  Afterwards I was SO SO tired but I knew that I wanted to do another full.

My “A” half marathon is Napa to Sonoma.  The race is July 16th and I am going up against the clock.  I want to run a 1:54 at this race.  That is 6:30 minutes faster than I did last year. I can do it.  I have been training and I will continue to train.  There are 7 weeks left from Sunday and I have already been seeing a lot of improvement with my running.  I am still using swimming and cycling as cross training and I have 1 rest day a week.  So far so good. Let’s keep it up!

My goal for Long Beach? I want to run in 4:20. I did Surf City earlier this year in 4:35. It is quite the jump in time and I would be thrilled with that finish.  I have come to learn in the last month that I can do it.  I did an Ironman. That was a whole different beast.  I was doing my best and I made it to that finish line but I really had to know when to conserve and when to push.  I feel when I do a marathon all I do is push, so this time around I am going to be more aware of my heart rate and my pace.  Only time will tell if it works out for me.  What if I fail miserably and I don’t finish within my goal time? I sign up for another one. I will keep doing it until I hit my goal.  Let’s get real though, we all know the goal will change after every race so I guess I am in this for the long run!

My decision to run 26.2

Well, here I am again…thinking (knowing) that I am going to be running another marathon.  I chatted with Evan about running another one and he advised me to not run Surf City again.  I LOVE that half marathon and always find joy in that course.  I have taken on the marathon 3 times and all 3 times I was disappointed and didn’t love it. So, why run another one? Because I want to. I want to go into it confident and know that I can do well.

I am on my 3rd week of this new running plan and it is going well.  Sunday it was SO hot. I ran in Long Beach with 2 friends and thank goodness they were with me.  If they weren’t I know I would have quit.  It was nice to have them there running also.

There are 10 weeks to go until Napa to Sonoma 13.1.  That is my ‘A’ half marathon this year and I predict that I am going to do well and be proud of my finish time.  I am eager to do the race and excited to see what comes of training as well as race day.

But enough about that and back to marathon.  So, what marathon do I want to run?  CIM. The California International Marathon. It is located in Sacramento and is the first weekend in December.  It is close enough to drive and should have cold weather which is always good for running.  This race is also at a decline and very fast.  Several people run this race for a BQ (Boston Qualifying).  Do I expect to BQ this race? LOL NO WAY! However I do expect to race strong as long as I keep up with my training.  As long as I have friends who are racing Ironman and running I will have a strong support system as well which will help me reach my goals.  It seems like it could all fall into place.

So, that is the plan for now.  I need to sign up which is key to actually committing to the race but as of right now that is what I want to do. I want to train in 2017 for CIM and finish strong.  My goal time for right now would be under 4 hours.  My current marathon time is 4:32.  It is a pretty lofty goal to go down to 4:00:00 in a matter of months. I don’t want to say that I won’t hit that goal though because why train if you don’t think you can make your goals? Only time will tell.

 

Running with purpose

I was cleared a month ago to begin running again and it has been going well.  I have been running and feeling good. However, I was not running with a purpose.  I was running to simply run.  Now that I am 16 weeks out from the Napa to Sonoma 13.1 race I am making the conscious effort to train for this race.  I don’t think that it will be easy but I think that I can do it.  I don’t want to have a time goal for the race but why train if you don’t have a goal? I want to run the race in under 2:00:00.  Last year I ran in 2:00:30! My PR on this course is a 1:53. I don’t think that I will be able to run THAT fast this time around but I want to do better than I did last year, and with dedication I know that I can do it.

I found a plan on the Nike app that I have been using. I am also wearing my heart rate monitor so I am able to control my zones so not every run is an all out run.  I learned that one cannot meet their goals on tired legs.  I am going to run with purpose this time around and try my hardest to get my stride back.  It was tough to lose speed training for Ironman but I will get it back.  I don’t know if I will get it back in 16 weeks but I am going to give it my all and get as much back as I can!

I am excited to document this next chapter of running and eager for race day to come so I can see my hard work pay off!

1 more week

I have a week to go until I hit the 6 week mark of no running…and then I can run again! It actually works out well because when I am able to return back to running there were be 16 weeks to go until the Napa to Sonoma 13.1 half marathon. I am going to start from Day 1 with a training program and go from there.  This ensures that I won’t be running too long in the beginning to make sure that I am healed and don’t get injured again.  Honestly, I feel fine and now I am just waiting it out. I know that I will come back and be stronger.

I have taken to the hot yoga classes and I really enjoy them.  I try to practice 3-4 times a week and it has made a huge difference.  I am feeling more flexible and I can tell that I can hold poses longer and that I can also get into them easier.  I can also bend a little further which is great.  I am hoping that I can keep the discipline I have now and continue to go to yoga even after I am cleared to run.  That would mean workouts in the morning and in the afternoons though.  Not everyday, I am thinking just 3 days a week.  I think I can make it happen.  It is funny when you are not training for something huge getting up at 430am to workout doesn’t really matter.  I like working out in the evening.  However, running and yoga back to back at night would take up far too much time so I do need to do them apart.

I have also started doing some weights and I am enjoying it.  It has only been a week but I do feel strong.  I know this is something I need to work into my routine as well if I want to get results.  It is really hard because there seems to be 5-6 things I want to do to workout, but if I do them all I won’t be great at one I will just be okay at all of them.  I want to strive to improve my fitness, not keep it stagnant.  Believe it or not yoga has a lot of strength training benefits. Holding poses and working your core are all important when it comes to the classes so I know that I am getting a benefit.  It is also a hot yoga class! I wore my heart rate monitor and I burn around 400 calories in an hour long class. Not too bad at all!

So with a week to go I continue to do yoga and stretch and I am looking at running plans to get back into it and come back strong for Napa to Sonoma which I hope I can do.  Evan will be going for a PR again and I hate being the slow poke so hopefully I can also pick up my pace and be proud of my running!