Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby's First Marathon

I am sorry that I can't shut up about the Nike Women's Marathon. Just a warning if you see me for the rest of the month, I may or may not still be raving about it.

I had some mixed feelings going into this race. For one, I was incredibly cranky the week prior to the race. I blame the taper. It made me grumpy and tired and all sorts of sassy. On Friday of race weekend, I was invited to partake in a focus group for Nike in which I had to do some high intensity workout for 15 minutes. This + walking around SF = slightly sore calves.

On Saturday, my friends and I went up to SF for the Expo which also required some walking. I would like to add that driving in SF is a nightmare and it stresses me out. Like, if I had a choice I would never volunteer to drive there. That place just makes me tired. Needless to say, we had trouble finding parking for our dinner reservations that night and ended up going back to our hotel area to find another one. We ate at Amici's though, so I'm not mad. By the time we got back to our room it was 10pm, much later than I was hoping to go to sleep. And I STILL had to put my stuff out for the next day.

Then of course there was last minute playlist additions and I probably didn't fall asleep until 11ish. I woke up TWICE in the 5 hours that I was asleep. Once because I thought it was time to get up and the other time to pee, which is when my calves and quads felt sore. I was really worried so I put on my ProCompression socks and slept the remaining 2hrs in them. In the morning they still felt a little sore sooo I was worried.

We got there super early this year and sought shelter from some hotel lobby. It was such a great idea. My friends are geniuses. 

Race play-by-play:
Miles 1-3: really really cold and uncomfortable because I had to pee. I missed the 1st bathroom stop and had to wait. Note to self: don't drink a whole bottle of water prior to race time!

Miles 4-???: felt fine, tried to make up for some lost bathroom time. I was determined to not make anymore stops so I ate those hills alive.

Miles 11-18: "YAY OMG IT'S HAPPENING" and then the blisters arrived. My knees, IT band, and feet were also feeling some pain at this point.

Mile 20: "WHEN IS THIS COURSE GOING TO TURN AROUND?" I felt like I had been running for sooo long with no turnaround in sight. I used my friend Anje'le as an indicator of how far I was and I hadn't seen her for milesss.

Mile 21: "Ok this is it. There's no stopping now"

Mile 23: Time to pick up the pace 

Mile 25: It was gametime. I really hustled at this point and ended up going all out for the last .5/.3 miles or so. I had this strange feeling like I was going to cry for this entire mile. It was so weird. 

Crossing the finish line felt like nothing I've ever felt. It was a mixture of wanting to cry, being so happy, so glad it was done, disbelief that I had actually ran the whole race (only walking to finish my water so I wouldn't spill on myself), and just being so proud of myself. Even though going to sleep early every Friday night to wake up too early for Saturday training runs was a pain, when I crossed that finish line I knew that it was all worth it. I am so ready to run another marathon.

To top it all off, I ran under my goal time of 4:30! Seriously could not believe it. I was behind the 4:15 pacer for awhile, but I ended with an official time of 4:21.27. 

The course was, as expected, beautiful and well populated with cheering sections and water stations. I think if I ever run a race that is small and not-Nike sponsored, I may be in for disappointment. But it's okay, I'll bring my water belt.

I did not "hit the wall" and I will attribute that to fueling. I ate my PowerGel at every 6 miles and drank water and Nuun at every station after mile 8. It really helped. It also helped that I had consumed an exorbitant amount of pasta that week.

Well, this post isn't long enough so I think I'll add some more pictures so you get your money's worth.

I couldn't figure out how to put these in order soooo, whatever.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vacation, Naps, and Trust

If you didn't already know, I have very creative blog titles.

So I took the MCAT and didn't die. Let's not talk about it though.

Then I went on a week-long vacation to hot and humid Florida. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to train for my marathon because of the heat and humidity.......

I went running a total of 3 times for the whole week I was there. At first I felt really guilty because those runs were no longer than 3 miles each, but then I was like....I need to give myself a break. I actually can't even believe I ran at a sub 9:00 pace. I woke up at 7:45AM to run there and it was 80 and probably like, 90% humidity! Ridiculous. Then I decided to run over this bridge {A. Max Brewer Memorial Bridge} and back at like 10AM one day and there was NO SHADE and half of it was UPHILL. I am crazy.

Aside from running in a sauna, I did a lot of eating, touristy stuff, and napping. I seriously passed out every time I got in the car. Probably from a food coma. Or the humidity. Then in the evening I would lay around on the couch and watch TV or fall asleep. I didn't muster up the energy to go night swimming until the 3rd day. Oh, the life. I am not used to so much activity I guess!

So yesterday when I came home from the airport, I totally thought I was going to go for a short run. What a joke. I passed out for about 3 hours. And then this morning, I woke up early with every intention of running. But then my cousins slept over and my dad made breakfast and I had to entertain them and it didn't happen.

Excuses, excuses. Ugh. Finally, I went for a short run before dinner. I had no mileage goal in mind, I just told my legs to run for as long as they could (or until the sun went down). {It ended up being 4 miles at an 8:30 pace}


Sometimes you just have to trust yourself. Trust in your legs, your lungs, your mind. Whenever I fall out of my training schedule I worry that it will be so so hard to get back into it. I think the fear of losing that bit of fitness from skipping a session, a day or a week is all in my head. As someone who likes to run long distances and by themselves, maintaining a positive mentality is much harder for me than actually completing the run. There are so many times when I am 75% through my run and my mind wants to quit. Sometimes I give in and I stop - I have actually called my mom to pick me up before. Other times I push those thoughts away and tell myself I can finish my run. In the end, I just have to trust myself. It always amazes me what my body is capable of when I let my doubts subside!

{My sister running with me for the 1st mile. Look at those clouds! The clouds in FL were unreal}

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MCAT House Arrest

It's been awhile frandz.

I've been on MCAT house arrest. I seriously don't go anywhere or see anyone (except my parents, co-workers, and people I see on the trail). Last week, I didn't have work so I had a 4 day weekend and I didn't leave the house for 2/4 days. That's 48 hours without seeing other humans, guys! It's really awful and makes me kind of crazy and when my parents come home I am so excited to talk to them I talk their ears off. True statement.

It will all be over in 1 week! And then I will be on vacation, whooo!


Training recaps! Quite possibly the only thing keeping me sane.

 Week of 8/11-8/17
  • Sunday - Rest
  • Monday - Easy 7mi @ 8:55min pace
  • Tuesday - Track workout: 1mi warm-up, 1 round of Tabata with the bleachers, High bench circuit, and 10x 100m Sprints (between 17 and 19 seconds each)
  • Wednesday - NTC
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - Easy 5mi @ 8:50min pace
  • Saturday - 10mi @ 9:40min pace. This was extremely rough, as I started late and it got way too hot and my PB toast did not sit well for me

Week of 8/18-8/24
  • Sunday - Rest
  • Monday - Easy 7mi @ 9:00min pace - this run felt particularly great. Perhaps it was the overcast weather and slight breeze. It's amazing how much a little breeze can help cool me down on a run
  • Tuesday - 45 min of NTC, I forget which ones
  • Wednesday - 1mi warm-up, 5x 600m '5k effort', 0.5mi cool-down
  • Thursday - Rest day because I had to go to a Wine Walk with my girf
  • Friday - Kettlebell circuit, Pilates abs, and HIIT
  • Saturday - 12mi @ 9:25min pace. This felt amazing!! I started off slow because I am being a good girl and I didn't stop until mile 10.5 when I reached a large hill. I didn't even feel like stopping at any point up until then! It really felt great. And then at the end of the run I cancelled it on my Nike+ app so I don't know what my splits were :( At least I looked at the total time before I cancelled it though

Week of 8/25-8/31
  • Sunday - Rest per usual
  • Monday - Easy 5mi @ 9:10min pace
  • Tuesday - Kettlebell circuit, Pilates abs, HIIT (45 min total)
  • Wednesday - 6mi Tempo. This was so hard. I averaged 8:50min/mi for the entire run but I was really struggling between miles 3 and 5. Will have to work on those tempos!
  • Thursday - Nothing. Too pooped from studying. Can't have everything, I guess!
  • Friday - Easy 5mi @ 9:00min pace. It got dark halfway through but I was running in the neighborhood so it was safe. It's so nice to run at night
  • Saturday - 14mi @ 9:48min pace. My longest run ever. It was hard. I left super early but it still got too hot mid-run. I had to run into the woods to hide from the heat. Also, my finger started bleeding and there was a line of blood down my hand - weird.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Los Gatos Dammit Run and New Running Toys!

This week, I decided to sign up for the 40th Annual Los Gatos Dammit Run! I have always wanted to run this. I also got one of my friends to run it with me! 

I was pretty upset with myself for walking part of both hills, but I ran 8 miles last night so I guess that's acceptable. I've been trying to listen to my body instead of pushing myself to nausea. It's been going well so far! I don't really like to run with other people, but this race reminded me of how exciting it is to be in a race environment. I love seeing the sea of runners making their way through the trail. Speaking of trail, almost the entire course was unpaved. It was harder than my normal runs.

Marbud got 7th place for men in the 18-29 age group! Whoo! He's so fast, it's not fair. I was really jealous. He didn't want to take a pic by himself with his medal. We got to the car and realized we didn't check the women's listing. I insisted that this was not necessary since I didn't feel that I ran well, but what do you know, I got 8th for women in the 18-29 age group! I was really surprised. YAYY!!!

Thanks for running with me, Marbs!

In case anyone was dying to know, I picked the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9's! I am so so excited to put some more mileage on them and see how they feel. Yesterday afternoon my mom went to Athletic Performance with me because sometimes I get tired of doing everything by myself. It's lonely. As Kristine at Athletic Performance promised, the Willow Glen location sent over some shoes in my size! I immediately tried on the Wave Inspires and ran around the block. I decided that the weight of these feel better than the Asics. I initially didn't like this color but it has grown on me. Plus it's different from anything I own. I usually gravitate towards the pinks and purps.


Oh, my running belt came:

My mom is currently my running photographer. I am accepting applications.

On Sunday, she and my dad went on a walk and brought these minions to cheer me on------------>

Okay last picture I promise. A lot of exciting deliveries and purchases were made this week, sorry.
 THIS CAME TODAY. FedEx dropped it off as I was writing this post. I am wearing it right now. It feels like heaven. Like my new shoes. 

Week of 8/3-8/10:
  • Sunday - 8 miles @ 8:31/mi. This felt amazing. I think it had to do with being well rested and hydrated. Oh and the lovely breezy weather. And running on a new part of the trail.
  • Monday - Rest
  • Tuesday - 1mi warm-up, then Track Workout with Alyssa
  • Wednesday - 4 mile Tempo + Foam roll
  • Thursday - supposed to be cross training but I was too tired from work. I did some abs and squats.
  • Friday - 8 miles @ 8:39/mi + Foam roll; This was ok. I'm not completely used to the new shoes yet. 
  • Saturday - Los Gatos Dammit Run! 5 miles with one long hill and one very steep hill + NTC tonight for strength training.
No new friends on the trail this week. Just more friendliness from runners I see frequently. I love when other runners smile/nod at me/each other. Sometimes I smile at people walking but then they don't reciprocate. It makes me sad. Today after the race people were like, Great Job, I saw you pass me! People are so nice sometimes.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


This week I decided to leave my house for a reason other than work or running. Clearly this was very important, since I seldom leave my house. 

Since I did my long run on Sunday, on Monday I had time for a trip to Road Runner Sports in Campbell to get my gait analyzed. I haven't done this in a couple years so I thought pre-marathon would be a good time. Boy am I glad I did. The last time I did this we determined that I was a neutral, mid-foot runner with a high arch. Well, today they used this cool machine called the Shoe Dog (lol) with force plates that map out your pressure points, produce an image of your arch type, and then they had me run on a treadmill to see how my foot pronates while I run. Then the guy even molded some inserts for me to try on with a few pairs of shoes.

The verdict: Very high arch, extremely flexible arches, and some pronation.

Here's a nice little picture of arch types:
Cool you have weird arches, so what? 

Normally, high arched runners supinate (roll outwards). Since my arches are so flexible, they collapse on every stride and make me pronate (roll inwards). This makes it a little tricky to find the perfect running shoe.

I tried on a few pairs here but only liked 1 and then the salesgirl disappeared for long periods of time and I had to go to an appointment so I didn't have time to wait another 40 min for her to help me.

So Tuesday I hit up Athletic Performance and Runner's Factory in Los Gatos. Runner's Factory is where I originally got fitted for shoes. What I love about these 2 stores is that they are small businesses and owned/staffed by knowledgeable runners. I felt that my questions were adequately and thoughtfully answered. I felt pretty unattended to at Road Runner. Both Kristine and the girls at Runner's Factory watched me run, squat, and then pulled shoes for me to try based on my preferences and such. Athletic Performance didn't have any of the shoes/colors I liked in my size, so Kristine called their Willow Glen location to have them bring some over. I will be making another visit at the end of the week. However, I did try on a pair at Runner's Factory that I really liked.

Now I can't decide which one to get and which color to get. I will have to sleep on this.

Option A: Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 - Not crazy about this color and the other options are gray and bland.
Option B: Asics Gel-Cumulus 15 - I like the color but the shoe felt bulkier than the Mizunos.

Tune in next time to find out which ones I got!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Getting out the door

Sometimes I have a really bad day where all I want to do is curl up in bed and sleep it off. And sometimes I give in, only to wake up feeling disoriented and annoyed that I wasted all that time. So I've been trying this thing where I tell myself that if I can just get through work and studying, I GET to go running! It works most of the time.

On days when I see this sunset or sunrise over the lake or creek, all my frustrations are suddenly irrelevant. How could I be upset when I get to run here? I don't even have to drive here. I am so lucky.
On days when I see this sunset or sunrise over the lake or creek, all my frustrations are suddenly irrelevant. How could I be upset when I get to run here? I don't even have to drive here. I am so lucky.
Maybe on Monday I will stop to take real pictures of the view instead of maneuvering my phone while running. It's really pretty, I swear.

I am no professional on running safety, but here are some things that I've learned to do over the years since I almost always run outside.

1. Run when it's light out/when there's people out. I just feel a bit safer when I see others on the trail.
2. Bring your phone, Road-ID, or identification. Better safe than sorry!
3. Wear sunscreen and chapstick with SPF. Use the broad spectrum sunscreen.
4. I have a hard time running without music, but try to listen to it at a volume at which you can still hear others on the trail.
5. Share the trail and smile at other runners!

Week of 7/28 - 8/2:
  • Sunday - Rest
  • Monday - 7 miles @ 8:47/mi. So brutal. I was so exhausted I could barely eat.
  • Tuesday - NTC (15min Carmelita Jeter High Intensity Power + 15min Core Crunch + 15min Arm Definer)
  • Wednesday - 5 miles @ 8:34/mi. Felt a lot better than Mon but was so dehydrated. 
  • Thursday - 1mi warm-up on the track, then this workout, courtesy of my best girf Alyssa

I modified this to just 6x 100m sprints because I felt that I would not be able to run to my full capacity on Friday if I had. (I was right)
  • Friday - 5.5 miles @ 8:47/mi. This was supposed to be 7 miles but I just couldn't anymore and I was running late (haha) for my dinner plans. Plus my glutes and hammies were getting sore. Also, SO dehydrated! Need to get a fuel belt ASAP.
  • Saturday - Rest, foam roll.
P.S. I've been running on a new part of my normal trail to keep things interesting. So far, I've seen a family of 5 raccoons, 3 skunks, lots of cats, and fish bigger than my thigh. Seriously.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

It begins

With all the extra time I've had lately since my brain gets tired from MCAT studying and decides that it won't let me process any more information, I've spent some time mindlessly surfing the world wide web. Well, I like to think that it's nourishing my brain.

For a few years now I've been semi-following fashion blogs, healthy eating blogs, and fitness blogs. A few weeks ago I realized that there are probably *gasp* running blogs! So I did some googling and found a few that made me laugh. While I am nowhere near as fast as these awesome runners, I thought it was time to start my own as a way for me to document my ups and downs of training and running in general.

In about 2.5 months, I am running my first full marathon at the amazing Nike Women's Marathon in SF. I can't wait to run around SF! Not sure if I'll be able to run the entire time because the hills during the first half are really brutal on the knees and quads.

My goal is to run the entire 26.2 miles with a 10:00-10:30 pace.

Yesterday's run: 6.0 miles, 51:49 at 8:37/mi
Today: Rest

Happy reading and running!