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.

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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.

 

End of the Year and 2017 goals

2016 is wrapping up, and 2017 is just around the corner.  I am not sure how I am going to make 2017 special since 2016 was so great as far as accomplishments.  But I am sure that I will find a way.

In February I will be running the Surf City Marathon.  This will be my 10th year participating in the race and my 4th time running the marathon.  Evan is going to be running as well. I hope that he will take the leap of faith and join me on the marathon course as well.  I am eager to get out there and run.  I have been really pleased with my running the last few weeks.  That speed workout I did with my friend Annette really helped me to see that I still got it in me, I just have to dig deep to get it out.

Cycling? Yea, still don’t like it. I do my sessions because my coach put them on my schedule, but I am going to scale back and focus on running.  I want to get faster and I know that focusing on the run is the best thing for me.  I do have a metric century (67 miles) that I am doing with Annette the week after the marathon but I am going to see how it goes before I fully commit to that one.

No races are scheduled in March for me but my friend Derek has signed up for his first 70.3! WOOHOO! I am really excited for him because I know that he will eventually sign up for a 140.6 and that he will get the epic experience of racing Ironman. I am stoked he is diving in and going for it.  I am eager to see which 140.6 he chooses, because it is a mater of when and not if with him.

I do not have a race in April but I will be going to Oceanside to cheer on Annette as she takes on her first 70.3 distance at IM Oceanside.  I am excited because it will be the first race that I am going to volunteer at which will be a new experience for me.  I am certain that I am going to want to race as soon as I get out there so it will ramp me up to sign up for something else.

In May I am going to be doing the OC Half Marathon with Carol and my mom.  It is a fun race for us and we all enjoy it.  We do not race for time, and we go out and have a great time together.  It will be great this year as well! I think that Evan is going to do this as well because he would be getting a special medal for completing Long Beach, Surf City and OC. Who doesn’t want more medals?!

In June I am going to be racing the Breath of Life Olympic Triathlon in Ventura.  This is a really fun race and I enjoy the distance.  I am hoping that I can have a successful race as well and be able to go much faster than I did this past June.

In July I will race the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 marathon.  There is NO reason why can not do this in under 1:50.  None.  With proper speed work and nutrition I can do it, and I want to do it and I will do it.  It is going to be a wonderful race.  I would really like to beat my current PR of 1:49 and time will tell. I love Destination Races and the races that they put on.  I would love to get a few other races under my belt with them since they are all so great.

After Napa to Sonoma I do not have anything on the books.  I am certain that I will find something to do and that I will have a blast doing it, but for now that is all I have.  I am making the trip out to Arizona again to watch Emmett and Annette race IMAZ.  I want to volunteer for a part of the day as well and then be able to watch them finish.  I know when I get there I will want to sign up for another 140.6 so time will tell if I decide to.

I am not going into 2017 with a goal to lose weight, or get more fit or blah blah blah. I am going into 2017 with a goal of staying bad ass, and staying fit. I know that it is going to be attainable and that I am going to accomplish the goal. It has been wonderful getting to know people through triathlons.  I have really enjoyed their company and I am looking forward to continuing to work out with them and excited to watch them all meet their goals this upcoming racing season.

Next week I am going to sit down and crunch my numbers to see how far I traveled swimming, biking and running and make goals to possibly crush those numbers in 2017. Except for cycling, I don’t want to cycle anymore than I have to next year! 🙂

Speed work

Turns out when you do speed work with a friend it is much harder because she actually does it the right way!  Today I met up with my friend Annette and we did 6 miles. It was hard. So much harder than I remember running being. I knew if I wanted a good speed workout I had to go with Annette. 

Needless to say she pushed so I did also. I wasn’t going to be left behind! She’s faster than I am! I can’t believe the pace she was putting up.  

The workout was 6 miles. 1 mile warm up with 4 miles Fartlek and 1 mile cool down. The speed work was every 1/4 mile you sprint for 100 yards. For 4 miles. That’s 16 sprints! That’s so many! But I felt great afterwards. It’s good to know I can get faster, that’s my goal. And speed work is the only way to get faster. 

It was fun to get together and have a workout with a friend, it’s been awhile since I have run with anybody else. 

Santa to the Sea

This past weekend I went with my mom up to Oxnard and we participated in the Santa to the Sea half marathon for the 5th year in a row. We always have a good time when we go. It’s close enough, cute swag and a fun little course. Lots of people are in the Christmas spirit and dress up. At the expo Santa and Mrs. Clause were there. We had to take a photo with them. It was a small expo and we were able to get through it rather quickly. It looks like it was going to be perfect weather for the run.  Mom got her picture taken  and then I got mine taken as well. 
Well we were at the expo mom got a matching sweatshirt so we would look like twins during the race! It is a cute Santa sweatshirt that she can wear all season. 

The race doesn’t start until 8 AM so we had plenty of time to make it to the start line. When we arrived we noticed that there were not as many people as there have been in the past. We took a shuttle to the start line and took our picture with Santa at the snowman and reindeer. 

 Having done the Ironman only three weeks ago I was not sure how this race was going to go. I spoke with my coach a few days before and she recommended that I only do the 10K distance. I talked to my mom about it and we thought it might be a good idea. At the last second we decided to just go for the 13.1. 
We got on the road around 8 AM and started the run.  It is a flat course and we had a good time for the first 6 miles. Once we got to the halfway point I started to slow down.  I was not tired but my legs were definitely not having it.  Our pace it was much slower than we are used to but I knew that was the pace we had to keep in order to make it to the end. 

Mom and I also realized that they were only giving water and aid every 2 miles on the course. It was surprisingly warm and we were both wearing pants and a sweatshirt so we were sweating a lot. We were both disappointed to see that they did not have more water stations. 

When we got some mile 10 we knew we only had a 5K left. We were both excited and kept running. We finally made it to the last quarter-mile and were excited to see the finish line. I wouldn’t say that we ran to the finish it was more of a light jog. When we finished we were excited and headed over to the post race food. They only had cookies and water. That was another bummer but it was OK since we were so close to the hotel we could get more food soon. 

This was my first post Ironman race so I had no idea what to expect but overall I think it was a good time. Now I have settled in and I am starting to train for the surf city marathon in February. I am working hard on running in my proper zone to in sure that I recover with enough time before my next run. It is hard because at times I feel I am running very slow but I know it will help me in the end. 

The surf city marathon is a good distraction to realizing that I no longer in training for the Ironman. It is time to set new goals and move forward in my fitness! I am excited to see what the next six weeks will bring for training and how fast I can get. I am also working very hard on keeping the fitness that I have. I am still incorporating swimming and biking into my workouts because I can’t just let them go. It is a good way to cross train for me. 

I am also excited to go on training runs and rides with my friend Annette who is signed up for IMAZ 2017. It will be fun for both of us. 

But right now I am setting up for polar express day that happens in my class on Monday. Even though it has nothing to do with fitness I’m going to write a blog about it because it is too much fun! 

Now what?

What do you do after an Ironman? You rest, that’s what you do. For me, I am sad, genuinely sad.  It doesn’t feel like a loss or anything but I feel like I am not structured, falling out of shape and not excited for much that is in the racing department. I don’t know what to do with my time.  A workout that is 60 minutes sounds silly to me.  I need to get back to finding something that involves group workouts. I have to admit though I am not excited about any of this training going on right now.  I feel like I have hit the glass ceiling for racing and I have accomplished the most amazing goal.  Everything else just seems like it won’t be as good.  However, there are ways to make races fun and exciting, like training hard and pushing to do well.

I am signed up for the Surf City Marathon in February.  This will be my 3rd attempt at the marathon. I first did the marathon in 2010 with a finish time of 5:11:11.  I was not happy.  I signed up again in 2013 and completed the marathon in 4:52:40, still not thrilled.  So here I am post IMAZ ready to take on the beast again.  I don’t think I LOVE running marathons.  They are really far and they take quite a bit of time, but they don’t have to.  I know that my body is still healing from the Ironman and that it is going to take up to 6 weeks to get my stamina back but I am really hoping that this marathon can be a successful one for me.  I would like to run this race in 4:30 or less.  I know that if I train hard I can make it happen.  It will be tough but I can do it.

The only other race that I am signed up for this year is the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon in July.  I don’t have anything else on the books until then.   I think that I need to squeeze in a few things though. Or I am just going to focus on getting faster for the upcoming races that I have.  Training for the Ironman was all about endurance. Ensuring that my body could carry me for over 15 hours. It was an event that I was going to complete slowly. These marathons and 1/2 marathons should be swift events that I can complete and push myself.  I am ready to take on that challenge.

As for another Ironman I said I was one and done…I think I am still one and done…maybe.