Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some Random Things

Random stuff today... just go with it. :)

1. My ankle and leg are doing ok. Some days feel better than others. Sometimes it just feels tired. Today I am going to try going for a run with the hopes that it feels good this evening and tomorrow, and that I will be ready for a long run on Saturday or Sunday. Thank you all for your encouragement and support! I'll be sure to keep you posted on how it goes.

2. Today is the first day of the fall quarter. Every year it feels so weird to have the huge influx of students again after the quiet summer months on campus. However, I'm really loving the fall weather that is here at the moment. Riding my bike in the morning with a chilly wind in my face feels wonderful. I'm sure we will have a few more warms days at some point, but right now I'm loving the cooler ones.

3. Over the weekend, I went to Target and tried on this great hat. Happy early Thanksgiving! I didn't buy it because it didn't really stay on and it's too early for Thanksgiving things!

4. I also wanted to announce the winner of my recent giveaway for an Endorphin Warrior bracelet! Congratulations to Riri, who wants a BELIEVE bracelet. I'll be sending you an email soon!

Hope you all have a great weekend! I will leave you with two funny videos I saw this week from Jimmy Fallon that have been going around, in case you haven't seen them yet. Enjoy!

Lip sync competition:

Monday, September 23, 2013

OBX Marathon Training: Week 12

So, remember last week how I mentioned that I rolled my ankle during my long run, but it was feeling a little better? Well, this week it never really seemed to get back to normal, so I spent the week working on rehab and a little bit of cross training instead of my usual running schedule. I only ran 2 miles this week! 

Today it still isn't quite 100% (but getting closer). I think some leg muscles are working extra to keep my ankle stable so I'm having some tightness in my peroneal muscles, hip flexor, and IT band. I am trying to stay positive about it, but I am getting a little frustrated. I am hoping to let go of this week of injury and get back into things this week -- slowly of course to keep that injury away. I have a 20-miler planned for next weekend, so hopefully I can be ready.

Monday: 30 mins light yoga

Tuesday: 45 minute spin on the bike trainer plus a few core exercises

Wednesday: rest

Spent the evening celebrating my friend Matt finishing his PhD!

Thursday: 2-mile run to pick up my bike at an easy pace and 2 mile bike home. Did a few leg exercises at home to keep up my hip strength.

Friday: a little stretching, but mostly rest

Saturday: walked a few miles doing trail cleanup in the area I do a lot of long runs. Then went to the gym and swam 1250 yards. 

Sunday: 30 mile bike ride instead of a long run. 
Since my ankle was still feeling a bit funny, I subbed out my long run for a bike ride of similar time. It was a bit chilly, but a beautiful morning. I had to stop a couple times to take photos because it was so awesome. My ankle and lower leg felt good on this ride. I think I am getting close to being ready to run again. **fingers crossed**

As a reminder, there is still time to enter my giveaway for an Endorphin warrior bracelet! Go check it out and enter!

I also just realized that last Friday was my 1- year blogiversary! :) Happy blogiversary to me! Thank you so much for reading and supporting me and keep working to defy your limitations!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Becoming a Warrior {A Giveaway}

I had seen the Endorphin Warrior bracelets around online for a while. I loved the simple motivational words that they allow you to easily wear on your arm for that extra boost and reminder of why we train hard and push ourselves physically and mentally.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited that Endorphin Warrior generously offered to provide each of us with a bracelet of our choice when running Hood to Coast! I chose the word STRENGTH to remind me that I am strong and powerful, and nothing can hold me back.

Since receiving my bracelet, I have worn it not only during workouts to help encourage me to keep fighting as they get difficult, but also to remember my strength on hard days at work. These powerful words are all daily reminders to stay strong-minded and focused, and to overcome your challenges.

Some of the other words that I really love are:


Endorphin Warrior also offered to give a bracelet to one of my readers! They come in both black and brown bands for a little extra customization. Enter below for your chance to win!

Which motivational word would you want to choose on your bracelet if you won?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

OBX Marathon Training: Week 11

I'm so happy with how training went this week. I really tried to stay on track, like last week and have good quality training days.

Monday: 1 hour of yoga using the Yoga Studio app.
Just found this app thanks to Starbuck's pick of the week. It's awesome. Quite a few preset workouts, and you can even make your own! Really enjoyed this as a good stretch.

Tuesday: Speed day -- 5 x 1000m with 400m rest on treadmill for total of 5.5 miles.
The last time I tried this workout, my calf cramped before I could finish. I was due for redemption on this workout! I started conservatively, and ramped up the speed each interval. Ended feeling really good!

Wednesday: The usual -- P90x legs workout. Gotta get in the strength training!

Thursday: 4.4 miles steady state run

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 18 mile long run
This run went really well. I felt stronger and kept almost the same pace as my last long run two weeks ago. My shoes felt pretty good too. I was just so happy to be out there, feeling strong and enjoying the day.

At mile 10.5 I stepped on a big rock and rolled my ankle, but it didn't really hurt badly and did not seem to affect my pace. Later in the day it felt a little stiff, but ok for the 5k on Sunday. I didn't really think too much of this until Sunday afternoon.

Sunday: Lets ROC 5k.
You can see my full recap here. I hadn't run a 5k in almost 2 years, so I was due for a good hard run and a new 5k PR. I'm excited by my time since I ran an 18 mile long run the day before!

Sunday afternoon I spent a lot of time lounging. My ankle felt a little stiff again, so I rested for the day after the race, watching football. Starting out this week, I have been keeping things easy, because I think this rolled ankle actually pulled a little muscle on the side of my leg, so I won't do a track workout this week. (The 5k should count for that, right?!?) It is already starting to feel a little better, so I think in a few more days I'll be back to normal. Gotta watch out for rocks now!

PS. I know this mileage is nothing to some people, but this was my highest weekly mileage ever!! Exciting!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lets ROC 5k: Race Recap

This week I found out there was going to be a 5k held super close to my house! I thought it would be really fun to do, but wasn't sure how I would feel after running an 18 mile long run on Saturday, so it was a last minute decision to register. Even last night, I wasn't positive -- although I was pretty certain I would give a it a try. When I woke up, my legs felt pretty good...definitely some tightness, but I thought that with a short warmup and some dynamic stretches before the race, I would be OK. I ended up running about 1.25 miles for my warmup. I think I would have done more if I hadn't had a long run the previous day.

The last time I ran a 5k was in October 2011! I know that my speed has improved quite a bit since then. Unless something really bad happened, I should have a PR. My initial goal was hopefully finish in at least 10k pace, but I would have to see how my legs felt.

The race was about 1000 people, with a lot of first time runners and walkers aiming to raise funds for ovarian cancer. It was a well put together event, and their biggest of the 6 years it has been run. After the kids run, the race started right on time at 8:15am.

I started out a little bit too fast, but tried to settle into a good maintainable pace.

Mile 1: 7:23

In mile 2, my legs started to feel more tired, but I just tried to keep pushing as much as I could and keep it hard but maintainable.

Mile 2: 7:29

Mile 3 was tough. My legs were feeling pretty dead by this point, but I tried as hard as I could to keep up with the girl ahead of me. I tried to focus on keeping my leg turnover quick.

Mile 3: 7:31

In the last tenth of a mile I was racing right with two women. I kicked just a bit too early, and they finished ahead of me by only a second or two. I had a lot of fun though. It is fun to work on running faster sometimes!!

To finish: 7:11 pace

Official finish time was 23:19.

I'm pretty excited about my time! I think I'll have to do another 5k at some point when I haven't done an intense long run the day before. But now I have a new PR that is more accurate to my current fitness level!!

My effort was good enough for a 2nd place finish in my age group. The girl I was chasing for most of the run ended up being the first place finisher in the 25-29 age group, and finished ahead of me by only 8 seconds. So close!

Now my legs are pretty exhausted, so I'll be spending the rest of the day relaxing, stretching and foam rolling. And tomorrow will probably be an easy recovery day too.

Anyone else race this weekend? Any new PRs?

What is your favorite race distance?

Friday, September 13, 2013

A shoe update

It has been a little over a month since I got my shoe fit, so I wanted to give you a quick update on how I'm feeling about my Brooks Ghost 6's.

In general, I am enjoying running in them. However, sometimes I think the size feels a little big -- especially when I first put them on -- and I occasionally struggle to tie them right to fit comfortably on the first try. After a couple re-ties they feel good though. The sizing thing seems day to day. Once I get running, I don't really seem to maybe it's ok!

I think I'm also still getting used to the difference between them and the Ravenna. I have been alternating between the two pairs for the last six weeks. Ravennas have been my running shoe for 3 years, so maybe running in a less supported shoe could take a little bit to get used to. What do you think?

This weekend I will be trying them out for my long run (18 miles!), so I'll have a better idea about how I would like them for running the marathon.

If I'm still unsure after this weekend, I'll probably buy a second pair of shoes for the marathon because my old shoes are really getting worn. I think they have close to 450 miles on them!

Have you always stuck with the same brand/style shoes? Or do you switch it up?

What are your weekend plans? nothing major here besides my long run. I'm kind of looking forward to having a quiet weekend. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

OBX Training Week 10

Woo hoo! I'm officially over halfway through my training for the Outer Banks Marathon! This week was a step back week in terms of running mileage, but after a few crazy weeks of running and recovering from Hood to Coast, I really wanted to get back on my regular schedule!

Monday: light yoga

Tuesday: Yasso 800s. Completed 8 x 800 for a total of 7.25 miles.
I felt so much stronger than the last time I did this workout a few weeks ago. I will probably try doing it again in a few weeks and get up to 10 repeats.

Wednesday: P90x legs workout
I had an overwhelming and frustrating work day, but still fit in this workout to get some pent up energy out.

Fun side note: My tomatoes are starting to ripen in my garden. Many many more to come! I picked the first ones this week.

Thursday: 3 miles + core
Hot and sweaty 3 miles after work. My legs started out feeling sore from the last two days. After a mile though, they warmed up and I sped up! Paces were: 9:57, 9:07, 8:11. After letting myself cool down for a few minutes, I did a short core workout.

Friday: yoga
Calves were feeling tight, so I made sure to fit in a little more yoga to keep them loose.

Saturday: 5.25 miles with ~3.5 at marathon pace
I squeezed a few miles in in the morning before Ryan and I went out to celebrate our anniversary by going to Santa Rosa, CA for the day. We checked out Russian River Brewery, took a couple mile walk in a pretty local park, did some champagne tasting at Korbel, and went out for a lovely Italian dinner.

{shared a beer sampler because there were so many to taste!}

Sunday: 1650 yd swim
Straight and easy swim for recovery. I hadn't been to the pool in a few weeks, so it was great to be in the water for a little while.

How did your training go last week? Do you like Yasso 800s? Have you used them to predict your marathon time?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's the Sweet Life

Today is my and Ryan's 4th wedding anniversary! 

{photo credits:}

We celebrated last night by cooking a tasty dinner together (Chicken with lemon & rosemary, and polenta -- recipes from Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking), followed by cannoli's, some sparkling wine, and watching a video our parents made for us before the wedding. It was lovely.

We were also looking through some photo albums from over the last couple years, and it was so much fun to see how much we have changed and grown even over just a few years. If you had told me 4 years ago that I was going to be training for my second marathon right now, I don't think I would have believed it. At that time I didn't really even think I could (or would want to) run more than 4 miles.

Both Ryan and I have become much more confident in our physical abilities through running, triathlon, and weightlifting (p90x!). We have also learned so much at our jobs and about each other. I am so grateful to have his support, but also to have him there to challenge me to push my boundaries and do whatever I really want to do. I really loved looking back and thinking about all these changes.

This weekend we will be going to Santa Rosa for a day trip as a little extra celebration. No major plans on what we are going to do there besides visit Russian River Brewing. Anyone have any suggestions?

How have you changed in the past few years?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

OBX Training Week 9

Week 9 was about getting back into the routine after Hood to Coast (see my recaps Pt I & Pt II), and a little rest/recovery. I ended up taking some extra rest time for some fun events later in the week, so I missed a workout Thursday, but I know I will be back at it this week.

Monday: return from HTC. 45 mins of yoga for recovery

Tuesday: easy 4 miles. Legs were still feeling sore and sluggish. I didn't want to push it too much. But it felt good to get my legs moving.

Wednesday: P90x legs
I also noticed some knee pain, but didn't feel it while lifting. I decided maybe more recovery was still needed post HTC. Not used to so many hard runs in a row, maybe?

Thursday: rest
Knee still acting up, so more rest. I wanted to make sure I could do my weekend long run on Saturday!
I also went out to a concert -- Casey Abrams who was in American Idol season 10. He was a little quirky as usual, but it was fun and a small venue.

Friday: rest while watching lots of Modern Family.

Saturday: 16 mile long run.
I feel like 16 milers officially mean marathon training. I know that probably some people train to 16 for half marathons or other shorter races, but I never have. So now that I've hit 16, I think I feel like I'm finally into marathon zone! YES!

This run went ok. I actually did a good job of keeping my pace consistent throughout the run. The biggest slow downs were a few water breaks. My calves were getting really tight in the last two miles, and I was just ready to be done. No issues with my knee though -- thank goodness for rest days! My calves were tight for most of the rest of the day too, so I did some legs up the wall and compression socks for recovery. Time to re-focus on calf stretching!!!

I think what really got me through the end of this run though was thinking of these awesome teammates! #virtualpowerarch to the rescue!

Sunday: rest
We wanted to make the most of the long weekend, so Ryan, a couple friends and I went wine tasting for the day. We have all been working hard lately so it was good to take a break.

What do you like to do on your rest days? 
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