Thursday, May 14, 2015

OC Half Marathon

Another fitness goal complete! On May 3rd I competed in my second half marathon with my seriously awesome fiance, friends I've known since high school and their also incredibly awesome partners. To be completely honest, I had no clue how this race was going to go. Throughout my training I dealt with shin splints, IT band pain, a freak spider bite, foot pain, a complete change in my gait AND the ever present running cramps. I say this not to ask for your pity but to say that HOLY HECK, I went through all that stuff and still came out with a four minute PR which means that I should really start to try and believe in myself. Now to recap!

Chris and I drove down Friday night after picking up my race tank from Niki (aka the #bestrunningpartnerever) and crashed pretty quickly. On Saturday we slept in, went for our quick 2mi shake out run on the beach (first pic) and overall felt pretty darn good. We had brunch and then met up with everyone at the expo to pick up our bibs, shirts and other miscellaneous stuff you get at races. We had dinner at a delicious italian restaurant and then all went our separate ways to try and get to bed early for our 4AM wake-up call.

The morning of the race I was freaking out a bit. Actually freaking out a lot. I was so immensely worried that I would slow Chris down, or deal with running cramps in the first mile or deal with random ITB pain. I am SO thankful for this man. This was his first race longer than a 5k and here I was freaking out and he was the epitome of calm. Our training had been all over the place due to my random ailments, him getting a cold and him also dealing with some shin splints. I was NOT feeling prepared. But the gun went off and off we went!

I took this pic right around mile 3. This was a HUGE race compared to all the ones I've done in the past. There were over 22,000 runners [insert wide eyed emoji]. At first it was a little difficult trying to dodge everyone who had a different pace but I think around mile 8 or 9 I just kept thinking, 'this is awesome, look at all these totally different people crushing their goals.'

We didn't quite pace ourselves the way I had planned to or expected to but I was genuinely just so excited that I was running without pain that I told myself to just keep running and deal with the change in pace when I started to slow down. I know we definitely started to slow down a bit at mile 10 which I had planned on. I made sure we both focused on our form and took in as much fuel as we needed/could. We finished in 2:20...4 minutes faster than my first one despite all our setbacks =).

After the race we took our obligatory group picture and hobbled around a bit ;). I was surprised by how different the pain was post-race. Yes it hurt, you do not run 13.1 miles and not hurt afterwards but after my first one I very much felt that if I did not keep moving I would fall over. After this one there was pain but getting in and out of the car was okay and we were fine at brunch and somewhat okay at the beach later.
Such a kickass group of people. I am so incredibly proud of all of them for doing a fantastic job on their first HALF.

These two girls are one in a million. They endlessly listen to me ramble on about fitness stuff and are willing to take a risk on training advice that I offer. They both are so strong and I LOVE that they #runlikeagirl. Congrats you two, I can't wait for the next one ;)!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Third Triathlon

Last weekend I competed in my third triathlon and it went fantastic! This race was the one to replace the crappy memory of last year's olympic distance race. I chose to do the sprint knowing that I wouldn't have a ton of time to train and that it would most likely be pretty darn hot. And I'm glad that I did! 

I was scheduled to start swimming at 7:35AM and we had a whole 2-3 minutes to spare after getting my transition set up, a bathroom break and a heavy application of sunscreen. This was the first race that I got to wear a full wetsuit and man am I glad that I took the plunge and purchased it. It kept me so much warmer than the sleeveless one and the buoyancy difference was significant.  Last year, I had a huge struggle with the swim. It felt like it never ended, I was freezing the entire time and because of being so cold I had cramping as soon as I got on the bike. This year...much different. I was cold but warmed up quickly, it was a relatively quick swim and I was much warmer when I had gotten out of the water.

Heading into the water! I'm in there somewhere ;)

After my swim, I took about 4 minutes in transition and moved onto the bike pretty quickly. I did my best to keep my legs moving as fast as possible and to just get my breathing in order. We had a hill immediately out of the gate but then it was mostly rolling hills up to the turn around. Like I said, I did not have a ton of time to train for this race. I tried to get a bike and swim in each week as well as my running for the half marathon we have next week. I was very grateful that the few biking sessions I had done were very hill heavy! You can always tell when people didn't train on hills. They would pass me on the downhill and I would pass them on the uphill. Always a good feeling! 

 Annnddd now onto the last leg, the run! I was the most apprehensive about this portion because I have had injury after injury for the past several months. I was dealing with IT band pain just the day before and was not thrilled about having to push myself to think of my form and landing throughout the 3 miles. That and of course I dealt with cramps immediately after T2 -_-. It certainly didn't help that the first 1.5mi were on a really crappy dirt trail. I believe I came close to tripping and twisting my ankle at least 4-5 times. Once we hit the pavement I was able to find my stride and the only issue I was having was with my side cramps. But coming into the finish line I was blinded (in the best possible way) by Niki's signs and was able to sprint that last little bit which felt fantastic!

I seriously have the BEST cheering team. Niki and her husband were there, my handsome fiance was there (though he's kind of required to be), and Chris' parents are always there to cheer me to the finish. I can't tell you how much cheering helps. You realize that if you don't push hard, they came out for nothing and that they love you and want to succeed so why not shoot for it? It's by far one of my favorite parts about racing.

And now the next thing on the calendar is the OC Half Marathon next weekend. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am thoroughly looking forward to getting it over with. I miss riding my bike, I'm pretty annoyed with running and I want to start BBG back up again. One more week!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


The next order of business on getting this ole' blog up to speed is telling you a little bit about us getting engaged! This first picture was about a couple weeks before Christmas and as Chris described it, "everyone knew that I was about to propose besides you!" lol so kind of him. He proposed on Christmas morning after we had already opened our presents and I swear to you, I was ecstatic already over everything he had gotten me. I was pretty sure he was planning on proposing that morning so when we had finished all the presents and he hadn't, I just figured I was wrong. Well, then he went messing around with something in the garage, came back inside, got down on one knee and of course I said yes! It was perfect. I've mentioned this story to a few people and several people have asked "well, was there family there?" and my response is always, 'oh my gosh no, thank goodness, that would have been so awkward.' It is such  a personal moment! To have to share that with family and not be 100% genuine in the moment would just not have been okay and thankfully Chris was fully aware of that.

 The next day we went to the Children's Museum in Vegas and found this AWESOME life size lite brite that my niece and Chris got creative with. It made for such a cute photo!
 And then of course, we celebrated the next day with brunch at our favorite place. Oh how we wish we could get this place to cater our brunch wedding. We're here every weekend! Also, Chris does not look enthused because I'm taking his picture before 11am on a Sunday. I promise, he was happy.
 Lastly, the obligatory ring picture. Because I seriously LOVE it. I actually wear a different (cheaper) ring while I'm on travel and I kind of miss my normal one while I'm gone. Its a little fun to get home from work all week and get to put that one on again. I absolutely adore it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The most delayed post of all time

Niki and I post-race. I had A LOT of trouble just standing there for the pic.

Ahem. It's been a while. Like three to four months a while and A LOT has happened since then. One of my resolutions was to blog 3-4 times a month and well, it's February and I have blogged a total of zero times for 2015. Go me! But I'd like to change that. Field work is starting up again which means that I'll be stuck in a hotel room quite often for the next several months and what better way to pass the time than by blogging!
So we need to review the fact that the last time I wrote, I wrote about half marathon training and considering I am about to start training for my SECOND one, we should discuss the first. In a word, it was awesome. It was hard and difficult and full of pain but I loved it. I got a cramp in my right side within one mile of the starting line (HA is what my body was saying) and Niki had to go ahead because she was kicking ass and feeling great. And, of course, that cramp stuck around ALL 13.1 MILES. However, I maintained an 11min/mile pace thanks to the incredible Edie Gracia (who I now run with a few times a month!). She was my pacer and I don't think I could have done it without her. She pushed me when it got really hard, she listened to me ramble about triathlons and then she added me to her running group on fb later that day and I have been running with them as often as I can. 
Survived is right!
As far as the pain goes. Severe pain showed up in my left foot two days afterward and I had to take a few months off running. However, because of that injury the world's best physical therapist was recommended to me and he has completely changed the way I run, the way I feel about running and how I approach strength training overall.
Edie and I around mile 11
I start training for the OC Half next week and this time I have 2 more friends (besides the gorgeous Niki) and my FIANCE (woo) running it with me! Bring it on OC.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hitting the wall of AWESOME

Let's discuss the roller coaster that is training for a half marathon. Although I will say that this roller coaster happens with almost every event I've trained for. You start out SUPER excited. You're so jazzed to reach a goal that you get a little overzealous. Maybe the training goes to your head, maybe you get injured or maybe you've committed to something that's just past your limits. And then you go through a time where you're sore all the time, you're tired frequently and you wonder what the heck you got yourself into. BUT then, then you hit the wall of awesome and you are back up on the top of that roller coaster ready for the big drop. I hit that wall last Friday. I had been feeling super worried about my run that day because it was at an unfamiliar time, the trail was one that seriously kicked my butt last year when I ran it training for Irongirl and I was running with a friend which I knew would be new. And yet, I got out there and ran one of my best runs yet. The pace felt easy, my legs felt great, I didn't need compression sleeves and I was totally excited to do abs afterwards. It was a BLAST.
However, the  awesomeness didn't stop there. You see, at the start of this journey my running partner and I had told each other that we wanted our legs in good enough shape that we could wear these tiny running shorts that our trainer wears consistently. A couple weeks into our training we both went and tried some on and immediately said "helllllllll no, I am never wearing those." Fast forward to the LAST week of our training and we both end up texting each other saying that we're going to go try the shorts on again because its the last week we have to give them another shot. Below is me in said shorts! You guys, I felt FANTASTIC in them. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this goal and feeling good about it! I purchased those babies and tested them out on my last long run yesterday (which also went super well).
I don't want this to sound like a big brag-a-thon by me. I want it to sound inspiring. Training for something and seeing your body and fitness change is something I think everyone should aspire to do. It is so so exciting to reach a goal and know that you can go further. Get out of your comfort zone and do something that you didn't think you could do, because you totally can!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Half Marathon Training

Shin splints. Have you ever had them? If not, let me explain. It's shooting pain down the front or back of your shin bone. It makes it difficult to walk, let alone, run. I had a lovely run-in with shin splints my second week of training and oh do they suck. I iced my shins, changed my shoes, tried running on a treadmill, tried going even slower (which is difficult, I run like a snail lol), and just could not shake them. The feeling of defeat was real. I felt like there was no way I was going to fix them in time to train for my race. A friend had mentioned that I could do the 10k instead which I had eventually resigned myself to until my trainer sent over some shin exercises and I found another kind online.  So I got started with them and OH do they BURN. But I swear to you within a few days I was feeling better. I wasn't walking with pain, I jogged a bit and didn't feel like dying. I tested out my legs last Friday at the track at the gym and somehow was able to do 4.5 miles and it was AWESOME. Hence, the above picture of me grinning.

 And then, over the weekend I got up at the crack of dawn and ran my first long run and didn't die. That is exciting stuff guys! And so I'm back at it and I could not be happier. I genuinely welcome the good pain I feel when I'm running. The kind that comes from forcing myself to be stronger. The kind that makes me out of breath but excited that the next time I do the same workout, it'll be easier. The picture below is after I finished some interval training my trainer had me do to get me back to my goal pace and it was full of the good pain. It was so so hard and so so worth it. I felt so incredibly accomplished afterwards. Even if my shins were aching a bit and my knees were done. I cannot wait for that half marathon. I am going to crush it. It is going to be hard but wonderful at the same time. I'll be able to cross another distance off my list and that it too exciting.
What have YOU been up to?? Tell me about your latest accomplishment!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

San Diego Recap

Ahh, San Diego. Our home away from home. As I mentioned in my last post, we spend a solid week here every year at the end of August (along with many other weekends) and it is always completely relaxing and restorative. This year I had ambitious plans to half-marathon train while on vacation...HA. Does anyone else realize the ridiculousness of this notion? Yeah, neither did I. So I got one run in, pictured below, and then I took 6 days off and I think I got one more run in later on in the week. And the relaxing route was so totally worth it. I felt crappy about it for a day or two but then got over it and realized that I should enjoy my vacation and not worry about "training." Especially considering how obnoxious my shins have been since I started this whole training thing. 

We spent several days at the beach, ate A LOT of delicious food, went on long bike rides, saw dolphins in the ocean, had a bonfire on the beach and celebrated Chris' grandparents 55th(!) wedding anniversary. It was wonderful. I came home ready to eat clean, excited to spend time on our house and happy to sleep in my own bed for more than one night. 

And now, pictures! Of which there really aren't that many because I was doing my best to ignore my phone. So so nice. Try it some time.

4.5 very slow miles after taking several days off to ice the shins.

Sunset Cliffs, we got clouded out but it was still gorgeous
Sunset cliffs

Beach day!

Like father, like son =)

Giant bike sculpture!

Golden hour

Ruth Chris to celebrate 55 years of marriage between Chris' grandparents

View from on top of the midway

Pink lights for my road bike!
Ready for bike the bay!

View atop the Coronado bride...taken while riding my bike of course.
 How was your August?? What are your goals/plans for September??