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!

13.1 goals and cross training

It has been 2 weeks since my Surf City Marathon and I am feeling a bit better. I feel more rationale about all of it and I am able to relive what happened on the course.  I can’t tell you what went wrong though because I have no idea.  I was on pace for a PR finish that I was happy with and then I wasn’t.  Something didn’t click in my body and that was a problem.  However I know that the 26.2 distance isn’t for me.  It has never been for me.  I always do it just to take on the challenge.  I don’t do it because I think I am going to be fast and I don’t do it to qualify for anything because I know that will never happen. Why do I put myself through all that? Who knows.

Now it is time to refocus goals and see what I can do in the 13.1 mile race.  That’s my race.  That is the one that I know and I love.  13.1 miles is the race that I can conquer and feel really good about my finish.  I remember the first time I broke 2:00 during a half marathon and it was amazing.  I loved it.  I knew I could go faster also.  So I started to run more, and get faster.  I started to see how far I could push myself.  I had a streak for a  while where I would just PR at every race.  It was so much fun!  I don’t know why I was so fast, or honestly what I was doing to be so fast but it was in me.  I know that it still is.

I still need to incorporate some cross training into my workouts and make sure that I am doing some weights as well.  This has always been a hard part for me.  I am going to join Orange Theory Fitness again to help me reach my goals.  I was with them 2 years ago and I had great results.  I quit going because I signed up for Ironman and I didn’t have time to juggle all the workouts.  I am going to give them a try again and see if it will help me to reach my goals. I do know this: if I commit and I show up, I will have results.  I don’t have to hope for them if I put in the time and dedication! With Evan focused on running as well it has been a lot easier to get workouts in.  He knows the importance of training so when I have to go run later at night it hasn’t been a problem.

I can’t run for another 3o days.  I think this is the perfect time to take a break and reevaluate my goals.  I am running the Napa to Sonoma 13.1 mile run in July.  I told Evan I want to do a 1:50 at that race.  He didn’t say a word which meant it probably wasn’t a good idea.  He has a great way of supporting me, but this was a very lofty goal.  To shave nearly 20 minutes off my time with only 4 months to train is really a long shot.  So I am going to shoot for under 2:00.  Anything between 1:55-1:59:59 I will be happy with.  Last year I ran the race in 2:00:30, my watch said 1:59:58 but it was thanks to auto pause when I got stopped at a light.  I am not too far off my fitness from last year either.  If anything I am still in good shape fro November.  It is going to take dedication and realization that it order to make this goal happen I have to commit. I have to be dedicated and I have to try my hardest every time I train to get faster. I think I can do it!

 

No Running Allowed

It has been almost 2 weeks since the marathon and I have not run.  I was having pain in my hips that I don’t usually have, so I went to the doctor.  As it turns out there is a bone chip on my right hip.  That is never a good thing to hear.  I was told that I could not run for 6 weeks.  6 weeks?! What am I supposed to do?! Well, I took up hot yoga again.  It has been so awesome.  I love going and I love the workout that it provides.  It was hard to get back at it and it was not anything like riding a bike.  You lose flexibility when you stop going so I was expecting to be able to to poses that I was doing years ago and the quick reality set in.  As it turns out, I can barely touch my toes.  What happened to me?! I have a feeling that my lock of stretching lead to the injury because I was so tight and putting so much pressure on my body that it had to cave.

Walking into yoga can be hard.  Everyone there is fit.  A different type of fit than I am.  They are lean and cute in their yoga pants and look confident.  I look like the Hulk. My thighs so much larger than theirs.  When the instructor says to lift your belly off your thighs I always laugh on the inside because my thighs are always gonna touch that belly.  And guess what?! I don’t even care! It has been so wonderful to attend yoga and see that everyone focuses on themselves.  That is the joy of it all.  Nobody really cares what you are doing, and they are not competing with you.  They are there to do the same thing that I am, better themselves.  I think that training for the Ironman and not going into yoga has given me the realization that not everyone wants to compete with you.  Of course you have those people that do for one reason or another but I am so over that.  I want to lift other people up and get excited for their goals and I want people to do the same for me.  I don’t need anyone try to compete with me.

Walking out of yoga is awesome.  I love when we do the final stretch and I am so much more limber than I was in the beginning.  Yes I still have a long way to go.  I still use bricks and straps because I can’t get to the ground but I will get there.  I don’t know how long it will take but I know that I will get to where I am limber again.  I was looking back at my running times and when I had my PR I was also doing P90X 3 days a week and yoga 3 days a week.  Many days I was doing 2 workouts a day but that is something I am used to now.  I didn’t realize how important strength and stretch are when it comes to running.  They are two elements that can really help you.

I have 30 more days of no running. That means that I am going to be swimming and I will take out the bike trainer but I can’t promise I will use it.  I will also be focused on my stretching and my strength.  I have a goal to lean out a little more but not lose the leg muscles I have.  (I am kind of obsessed with them). We will see what the next 30 days has in store and what goals I can reach but I know that on March 18th I have a date with my running shoes!

Surf City Marathon

This Super Bowl Sunday I did what I have done for the last 10 years, I ran the Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon.  I normally do the half, but coming off the Ironman I THOUGHT that I was ready to tackle the 26.2 miles.  I put it out there that I wanted to finish in 4:20:00 or less AND get a PR.  Well, I failed. I didn’t finish in 4:20:00. This isn’t one of those posts where I say, I failed because I DID IT FASTER! No. I failed because I did it slower. I did not meet my standards or my goal.  Did I PR? Yes, yes I did.  I PR’d the race by 10 minutes.  But that doesn’t mean that I am over the moon about my time.  I finished it in 4:38.  The course was .6 miles long so I ended my running 26.8 miles.  My “actual” 26.2 time was 4:32 so that makes me feel a little better but not really.

img_6749

Evan and I went to the Expo on Friday night so we could get our packets and check things out.  It was not crowded which was great and we were able to get in and out pretty quickly.  I had to snap a photo before we left though.  They had okay shirts this year, they never seem to fit me right! Anyone else feel this way? I loved getting my legacy pin and shirt that is always fun.  This was my 10th year running the race! I can’t believe that time has gone by so fast.  This was my 3rd time running the full distance.

The morning of the race I got up and made my latte.  I got ready to go.  This was also the first time that I would be driving myself to the race start.  I usually go with my mom but she was doing the half, so I decided to drive alone.  img_6762It was pretty early when I woke up but I was able to get up and feel pretty refreshed.  I got on my gear and was out the door by 5:15. I arrived at the race start about 6:00 and was excited.  There were not a lot of people taking on the full so there was lots of room to find your place and settle in.  Usually it is so crowded you have to fight for spots but not this time.  We all were civil to each other and it was great.  I chatted with a few people before the race started.  They spotted my Ironman tattoo and asked me which race I had completed.  It was nice to have fresh ears to listen about IMAZ.  I won’t ever get tired of talking about it. 🙂 At 6:30am the horn blew and it was time to take on the race.  I knew that it was going to be a long day ahead so to take it slow.  I started out with a 9:45 pace and had to slow down even more than that.  I hovered around 9:55 and was feeling really good. Around mile 3 I started to get a pain in my lower groin and hip area.  I chalked it up to maybe needing more water so I drank at the aide stations and powered through. I kept my pace all the way until mile 16. Then it happened, the damn wall that is ALWAYS there.  I hit it, and I hit it hard.  I felt like there was no way to get passed it.  I went from a 9:55 pace to a 10:22 pace, then it just went downhill from there.  My pace got slower and slower and my hips hurt more and more.  The frustrating part about it all is that my legs felt fresh.  They felt really good, I knew they could carry me longer and faster but my hips were not going to move.  The same thing happened to me the last time I ran the Surf City full. It is painful and it sucks. I managed to not use to many curse words and get to the finish line. I was not happy when I finished. I was mad. I didn’t meet my goal. Everyone else that I was with was happy with their time. Evan of course got another PR because that’s all he knows how to do when he runs. It was frustrating to not meet my goal.

After the race we went over to the beer garden and Evan and I had our beer and were chatting and I realized that I can’t be a fast long distance runner.  I don’t even know if I can be fast anymore.  So am I having a pity party? Yes, yes I am.  I want to be proud of my marathon time but I am not.  I should have been able to crush that course, especially coming off the Ironman.  Some will say that I wasn’t able to peak perform because I did just come off the Ironman but I am not sure.  It really is a bummer when you don’t meet those goals.

I also realized that the goals I have for my half marathon in July are pretty lofty.  So maybe I need to reevaluate them and see what I really can do.  Who knows. What I do know is that I don’t like running the 26.2 distance and it is a beast to tackle. I don’t think that it is something I want to do again.  Of course, if it is built into 140.6 miles it is fun. 🙂 So that is the only way I would run that distance again. img_6764

Swim Run Girl

Hey everyone! It has been a minute since I posted so I thought this morning would be a good time to add a quick post.  I have been training for the Surf City Marathon and I am excited to say that I am excited for it! It has been a while since I have been excited about a running race and I think that is because I never really trained for them.  I didn’t put forth a lot of effort and I just did “okay” at the races.  I have not had a goal in mind for a long time and I know that my old ones were not attainable since I wasn’t putting in the effort.  How am I going to make a new PR if I don’t try? So I am eager to get out there next Sunday for the race.  I have been doing my runs, although last week I got sick and was down for the count so I was unable to complete the 22 miler that was scheduled.  But other than that I have been sticking to plan and it has been going well.  This will be my first race of 2017 and I am ready for it.

I am now a swim run kinda girl.  I did some swimming for cardio this week and I did my runs.  I do not cycle.  I do not get on the bike and I do not like it when I have to.  I really got burnt out.  I think what it cosec down to is I am not a strong cyclist and I don’t really strive to be one.  I see everyone out there going so fast and shouting ON YOUR LEFT. I don’t think I have EVER shouted at anyone that I was on their left! I am too slow for that.  But you know what? It doesn’t matter.  I don’t mind at all.  I realize that I am strong in 2 areas of the triathlon and that is just fine.  Strong swim, slow ride and strong run.  That is how I race.  Sure, I will get faster on the bike as time goes on but I will never be one that is an elite cyclist.

Evan sent me a few links earlier this week for some running clubs.  I checked them out and I am going to be joining! They meet Monday nights at the high school right behind my house so it is an easy jog over there.  The workouts are anywhere from 5-7 miles and they are a lot of speed work.  That is exactly what I need to meet more running goals this year.

Evan and I will also be running Napa to Sonoma this year.  This will be our 3rd year.  We love it.  This is my ‘A’ half marathon this year and the one that I want to break 1:55 at.  The fastest I have run this course is a 1:53. Can I run faster than that this year? If I put in the work I bet I can.  I have 7 months to prep myself for a fast half marathon.  Running is a lot more fun when you are fast! 🙂  We will see what happens but I need to keep my eyes on that race, and know that I can do well.

I was trying to convince Evan that we should also run the SF half marathon on July 23rd. It is the following weekend, and the day before my birthday! I have always wanted to do a race my birthday weekend and that would be such a fun one. I don’t think that he is into it though. Too many hills too close together. I think it would be a blast, and since I will be training for speed I should be able to be pretty quick with it as well! Maybe we can do it together next year.

This week of running has been short with two 3 mile runs, an 8 mile and a 6 mile.  I am heading out this morning for the 6 and will complete the 8 tomorrow afternoon.  Then it will be a taper week as I get ready for the race.

January 2017 goals

Happy New Year! Here we are in 2017, and I can say that last year I did an Ironman.  I am still obsessed with the fact that I did one and at times I still have a difficult time wrapping my head around it.  It is so crazy to think that it was a dream of mine that I made happen. Although it is good to reflect on the past it is time to move into the future and get ready to make 2017 great.

Many people make resolutions at the beginning of the new year.  I personally don’t make resolutions because I am happy with where I am and I don’t feel like I need a new year to be a “new me.” However I do have goals that I would like to meet as the year unfolds.

January’s goals are: Embrace the hills and fuel for success.

Next month I will be running the Surf City Marathon.  This will be my 3rd time running the 26.2 mile race and I am eager and excited for it.  This month I am focused on running as my main goal and swimming as my cross training.  I will only be cycling if I feel like it, and it will only be for fun.  I still can’t say I like cycling, so there will not be as much of that this year.   I am looking forward to getting into running more and pushing myself during my workouts.

I am going to be running the OC Chili Winter Trail Run at the end of this month as well.  This race offers a 5,7, and 10 mile distance.  I usually run the 5 mile distance with my friend Carol so that is probably what we will stick to this time around as well.  It is a challenging run for me because it is very hilly.

This month I am going to embrace the hill running.  I am going to complete the hill workouts and give it my all.  These are the workouts that are going to get me stronger and faster.

I am also going to focus more on my nutrition.  I have been slacking with the holidays. Who doesn’t love egg nog?! So I am slowly getting back on track.  I say slowly because if i just jump back into healthy eating I will drop off fast. I need to ease myself back into this.  When I start to eat healthy I will perform better with running as well.

So for January there will be a 5 mile run with my friend Carol.  I am certain that there will be bike rides with my friend Annette as well which will be fun. I am eager to get into the month and start making 2017 great for health and exercise.