San Diego Half Marathon Recap

I love this race. Not only was it my first half marathon two years so it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s always one of the most organized races I run. Everything down to the informative website, pre-race preparation email, expo, post-race activities… everything is planned well and the volunteers are SO nice and helpful. This year I especially loved it because I FINALLY broke two hours!!! I’ve been wanting (but not exactly training) to do this for a while now (maybe like a year and a half) and I finally did it. In past races I’ve just loosely followed a training plan and would just hope that I miraculously improved and broke two hours without putting in the effort needed. This time around, I’ve been busting my ass training for my marathon and working hard during training runs and November Project, and am really seeing improvement. IMG_3027 Anyway, Jeremy and I headed to San Diego on Saturday morning to meet up with my mom and grandma and head to the expo. It’s always held at the pier, which means parking can be annoying, but once you’re there it’s easy to shop at the expo booths or just go right and pick up your bib and shirts. Since it’s my third year running the race, they gave me an additional shirt, and they printed Legacy with three stars on one of the sleeves of both shirts. The women’s shirts this year were lavender color, so I asked if I could get the dark grey men’s shirt instead, since I don’t wear that many light colors. They were super hospitable and it was no trouble. They also gave out a backpack to put all your goodies in.

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Jeremy wearing the backpack they give all runners.

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Expo location.

The day before a race, I like to have a big bread-heavy lunch and a light dinner, usually a brothy soup. I’ve done this before my last three half marathons, and it seems to work well for me. We all stayed at a hotel downtown so we’d be close to the start and finish lines instead of having to wake up an hour earlier and try to find parking downtown SD somewhere.

All ready.

Flat Lily.

The race is always the morning of the daylight savings time change, so waking up at 5am really means it’s 4am for your body. It hurts, but luckily race-day nerves take care of the tiredness. Before a half marathon, I find that having a small cup of coffee (very important), a little oatmeal, half a banana, and half a Honey Stinger chocolate waffle at least an hour before the race starts sits well in my stomach, and provides enough energy for a few hours. After Jeremy and I left the hotel, we made the mile-long walk to the starting line, where there were tons of porta potties and an announcer getting ready to start the waves of runners.

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Ready!

I was in wave 7, which was a good placement for me. I didn’t see the 2-hour pacers since they were in an earlier wave, but it seemed like everyone around me was starting off at around the same pace. Once the race started, I was aiming for around 9-minute miles for the first half, but a fellow November Project runner saw my shirt and starting running with me during mile one. I never run with people and wasn’t sure how I was supposed to run at my own pace if she didn’t want to, so I ended up talking to her and slowing down to her pace. I kept looking at my watch and trying to ramp up the speed a bit (we were running around 9:30) but I didn’t want to be rude so I didn’t push it. I know that was silly because I wanted that sub-2 hour finish so badly and I should have just told her, but maybe it was a good thing for me to be so conservative in the beginning because I felt like I had a lot left in the tank the second half of the race, and I ended up breaking two hours anyway. It definitely made the first five miles go by fast, and it was a nice change to actually run with someone. I split off from her around mile 5 when she stopped to get water, and I sped up to try to make up some time. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 8.10.30 AM

I kept up a good pace until the dreaded Washington Street hill at mile 10 came up. Last year I had to walk up a lot of it due to not being in very good shape, but this year it didn’t feel bad at all and I never felt like I had to walk at all. After the hill was done, it was about three miles downhill to the finish. I was able to really push it these last miles, and I’m super proud of my negative splits. While I was pushing those last couple miles, I ended up passing the 2-hour pacer and that moment was one of the best of my running career. I couldn’t stop smiling and I might have uttered a ‘f— yeah’ out loud… Official time: 1:56:47!

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Booking it to the finish line.

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The only time I’ve mastered the whole arm-up finish line pose and there were no official photographers to capture it from the front.

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Splits according to Garmin.

Official results.

Official results.

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Immediately after finishing they filled my hands up with chocolate milk and coconut water and I didn’t have time to put it down before the picture…

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My two shirts and the huge medal that was dedicated to the military this year.

Along with the backpack from the expo, they give you a nice reusable tote filled with food and drinks.

Along with the backpack from the expo, they give you a nice reusable tote filled with food and drinks after the race.

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Three generations at the SD Half for the third time :)

As far as fueling goes, I had a Clif shot that I opened somewhere around mile 9, and I ended up taking in a little bit of it every mile, and only ended up eating about half of it. I didn’t feel like I needed any more than that.

I’m glad this race went so perfectly, and I’m excited to see what I can do at my next half. In other news, marathon training is still going well and we are now 8 weeks out from the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon… how did that happen? I haven’t done a training update in a while, so that will be on the agenda for next week!

Rose Bowl 10K Recap

This is kind of old news, but I still wanted to write about my most perfect race to date, the Rose Bowl 10k. My previous PR of 56:07 was set in October 2013, and it had been a while since I’d actually raced a race, if you know what I mean. I hadn’t really been in the best shape my last few races, and I was excited to see how far I’d come since ramping up my training and getting serious about it.

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The packet pick-up was held the day before the race, and it was pretty small. There were no expo booths (they had them at the finishers’ area at the race the next day, though) and it was just a few tables with volunteers handing out packets. It was really unclear that you had to stop at the first table and sign a waiver, then find your number, then find the right table to pick up your packet (many people were grumbling and complaining about this), but it really wasn’t that big of a deal, and if you waited in line and got to the front and you didn’t have your number, you had to go to where they were posted and then get back in line. An inconvenience, but not the end of the world. The shirts were cotton and too small unfortunately, otherwise they were nice-looking.

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The race started at 8:15am, and Jeremy and I got to the parking lot around 7:15, and were able to park for free. The half marathoners started first, and then all the 5k and 10k runners lined up in the chute (there were no waves, it was a pretty small race). I was prepared for the course to be hilly, and I thought we would be running on some trails, but it was actually just two loops on a path around a golf course, and was blissfully flat. Coach Lauren gave me some paces to try to hit in the first 5k then see if I could speed it up in the second 5k if I was feeling good. During almost all of my other 10ks, I’ve gone out too fast and struggled after mile 2 or 3, or I just haven’t been in good shape. This time, I was conservative in my first mile (it was also a smallish path and there was lots of weaving between runners) and then sped up the next two miles. Once we finished the first loop, according to my splits I slowed down a bit in mile 4, then realized I only had two miles left and felt really good, so I ramped up the speed.

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The last bit of the course was a downhill into the stadium, which was awesome. I was sprinting so hard and I had to dodge people (including someone walking with a baby stroller), but I was gunning for a sub 50-minute time, and I made it just in the nick of time.

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Before the race began.

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No time to smile!

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I finished the race with a 7:28 mile! This still blows my mind. I forgot to pause my Garmin right away, so my average pace is a little slower than what the race website says:

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Average pace under 8 min/mile?!

I also blew past the little kids giving out medals, so I had to go back and ask them for one. This was the first time getting a medal for a race that wasn’t a half marathon, so that was cool.

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The only weird thing is that my Garmin said the course was 6.00 miles, not 6.2. Those last .2 make a big difference, so I may not have had as big a PR as I thought and the course was probably short, but oh well. I still basked in the glory of a 6.70 minute PR and enjoyed a free Bud Light after the race.

The earliest

The earliest I’ve ever drank a beer.

I also got second in my age group, so Jeremy and I waited around a while until they announced the awards. When they announced the winners in the ‘Athena’ and ‘Clydesdale’ categories (women over 150 pounds and men over 200 pounds), the runners looks embarrassed, honestly, and it was weird. I am surprised no one has complained about this bizarre category. They finally got to my category and they called my name and I got to go up to the podium and get a second, bigger medal.

IMG_2588It was really exciting and felt like validation for busting my ass the past couple months.

Overall it was a good race and I’d run it again because of how fast and flat it was, but the organization could have been better. Jeremy put it best when he said it felt like the Pasadena community just got together for a fun run and not an actual race, like the announcer at the finish line wasn’t paying attention to the people actually finishing (he didn’t even announce when the winner of the races were coming in). I got lucky and the morning wasn’t too warm and the course was pretty shady, so heat wasn’t an issue. And I wore my new Saucony Triumph ISOs, which make me feel like I’m flying. I’m really proud of this race, and can’t wait to see what happens at the San Diego Half Marathon next weekend.

Marathon Training: Week 7

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 14

Week seven has come and gone, and it was a really good one. My workouts during the week went well, and I finally PRed in a distance on Sunday! I’ll do a whole recap of the Rose Bowl 10k, but let me just say that I’m still excited about it. AND I placed second in my age group (25-29) and had my named called and received a second medal. I haven’t set a PR in a while and haven’t pushed myself to train this hard ever before, and it’s really paying off so far. Let’s just hope I can break two hours at the San Diego Half Marathon in three weeks!

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Monday – 5 miles easy @ 9:38

This was the first run in my new Mizuno Wave Creation 16s… and it wasn’t great. I have been running in the Creations for the past year or more, and I loved the Creation 14 and 15. This new version feels less cushioned, stiff, and just clunky. They feel heavier too, although I don’t think they actually weigh more than the other versions. I’ll do a review of them soon, but this first time using them was not too successful.

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My new Mizuno Wave Creation 16s

Tuesday – rest

Lots of stretching, foam rolling and icing my knee.

Wednesday – November Project (5 miles total)

I wore my new Saucony Triumphs and whoa mama are they great. They are super light, cushioned, and just feel like I’m walking on clouds. I ran two miles in NP mixed in with burpees and pushups, then three miles afterward at around 9:40 min/mile.

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The group is getting bigger and bigger!

Thursday – 5-mile Progression Run

Splits: 9:23, 9:48, 8:36, 8:48, 8:11. I wore the Sauconys again, and I was amazed at how much lighter they felt than the shoes I’ve been wearing the past year and what a difference it made in speed.

Friday – November Project (4 miles total)

I wasn’t going to go to NP so I could rest my legs up for Sunday, but of course they decided to meet near my house and I had to go. I ran two miles to meet up with them, slowly ran up and down some killer hills and stairs a couple times, but overall took it really easy. It felt weird not going all out like everyone else, but I’m glad I held back so my legs could feel fresh.

One of the hidden stairs in the neighborhood.

One of the hidden sets of stairs in the neighborhood.

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Sunrise ninjas.

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I feel kind of bad I’m the only one not doing the heart-shaped thing with my hands…

Saturday – rest

Valentine’s Day was spent driving to Pasadena to pick up my race packet for the 10k, driving to Venice to pick up food for a picnic, then driving to Santa Monica to eat the picnic on the beach. In theory, this doesn’t sound like much. But as Jeremy and I are slowly realizing, things like this take a lot longer than you think in LA. We left Pasadena around 1pm (we found a taco place to get chips and guacamole and the hugest horchatas I’ve ever seen – road trip fuel to get across the city) and by the time we stopped in Venice to get food then made it to the sand, it was almost sunset. It was crazy. It must have been more crowded because of Valentine’s Day, but we were dead-stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway for like an hour and we finally just pulled over on the side of the road and parked and climbed down to the sand. It literally would have been quicker for us to drive up to Santa Barbara to go to the beach instead of stay in LA. But the food we got from Gjusta in Venice was incredible, and the sunset was beautiful, so all in all it was a success.

Oh yeah and the morning started with a cappuccino from Intelligentsia.

Oh yeah and the morning started with a pretty cappuccino from Intelligentsia.

Huge cups of horchata for our 'road trip.'

Huge cups of horchata for our ‘road trip.’

Finally made it to the beach.

Finally made it to the beach.

Our spread.

Our spread.

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It had been way too long since I’d been to the beach.

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Sunday – Rose Bowl 10k – 49:37 official time

Oh no big deal, I just PRed this race by like six minutes and came in second in my age group. And ran the last mile in 7:28 (?!?!). I am way too proud to not brag about this.

A well-deserved beer at 9:30am.

A well-deserved beer at 9:30am.

After the race, Jeremy and I went to Guisados for my favorite tacos, another big horchata, and some more beer.

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Then we went to a place called Donut Friend in Highland Park and got donuts. Their whole thing is that all their donuts and sundaes and desserts are named after emo/indie bands. They also cut their donuts in half and put pretty much anything you want in the middle. We got the S’Morrissey and another one named after Sufjan Stevens.

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The S’Morrissey – a chocolate cake donut filled with toasted marshmallows and topped with chocolate glaze and graham cracker crumbs.

Some of their other awesome flavors.

Some of their other awesome flavors.

We did it up big this weekend, and now I’m detoxing this week by eating lots and lots of veggies and salads and fish. I haven’t been experiencing super bad runger yet, but it does seem to hit me at night if I’ve had a light dinner. I get painfully hungry as I’m going to bed and it keeps me awake until I have to get up and eat some oatmeal. I feel like full-blown runger is on its way though… any tips?

Marathon Training: Week 6

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 15

I took a step back this week because last week was a lot. I ran six out of seven days, including three hard workouts. This week, I gave my body a little bit of a break, and my knees thanked me. I didn’t even go to November Project. This week was also the last ‘base building’ week of the training plan Coach Lauren made for me, and next week is officially the first week of ‘marathon training,’ which is exciting. And I’m running the Rose Bowl 10k in Pasadena next Sunday! I haven’t raced since November, and I’m feeling ready to push hard. I’m really hoping to PR, and it will be fun to see how much I’ve progressed since my last 10k in October (my time then was 58:26, and my 10k PR is 56:07). Whenever I haven’t run a race in a long time, I get super pumped, especially seeing pictures every weekend of all the people racing on Instagram. The 10k finishes inside the Rose Bowl, and there’s a 5k and half-marathon as well. I was looking at the race’s website, and I saw the divisions:

Age Groups and Divisions

  • Age Group-Male & Female: 13 & Under, 14-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+
  • Clydesdale: Men 200+ lbs
  • Athena: Women 150+ lbs

There are separate divisions for plus-sized people?! And seriously 150 pounds… come on guys, that is not plus-sized, or Athena, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve never seen anything like that… am I the only one that thinks that is weird?

Anyway, here’s the past week in workouts and life.

Monday – 6 miles with 8 x 400m repeats

I always do my morning runs on the same path, which includes a couple steep hills, making speed workouts a lot harder than they already are. I finally ventured to Echo Park Lake for this workout, and it was so much better. It was about a mile and a half to the lake, then the path around the water is a little over a mile (I think), and then a mile and a half back. The entire thing is paved, also, unlike my other route, so I felt like I could run a lot faster. My 400m split paces were: 7:45, 7:47, 8:04, 8:13, 8:17, 8:12, 7:51, 7:15. Not bad! During my last repeat, an entire class from the local high school started running on the path, and I ended up racing the girl in front (she didn’t know we were racing), and it gave me that extra push to get my fastest interval in. I’ll definitely be returning to Echo Park Lake for my speedwork.

Echo Park Lake.

Echo Park Lake.

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After work, my coworker and I went to the bar on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel downtown to see our other coworker DJing by the pool. I love the view from the top.

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Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 5 miles easy @ 9:45 min/mile

Normally I would go to November Project Wednesday morning, but I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am or so and had one of those restless nights, so I opted to get an extra hour of sleep and do five miles easy. I also figured it would be better not to push my body too hard, and a little decrease in activity would help.

That evening, I was invited to go to the Avalon Hollywood (across the street from the Capitol Records building, which looks really cool at night) for a presentation on an event called Checkpoints Race. I’ll write more about that in another post, but let’s just say I went to the event straight from work, and I forget that stuff in the heart of Hollywood is usually swanky and I was wearing sneakers and just totally underdressed when I showed up to the bouncers behind the velvet rope. I’m so used to being in Silver Lake or downtown where anything goes as far as clothing, but there’s a whole other side of Los Angeles that I sometimes forget exists. Aside from that, the presentation was really cool and the event sounds pretty awesome.

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The fancy bathroom at the fancy club I was underdressed at.

Thursday – 5 miles easy @ 9:48 min/mile

It was nice to have a few easy days of running this past week.

After work, my boss took us all for happy hour and bowling, and I don’t know how it’s possible but the left side of my butt is STILL sore from it. Who knew bowling was such a good cross-training activity?

Friday – rest

I was planning on going to a sunrise 6k race that November Project was putting on, but it was moved from Griffith Park to the Santa Monica Pier so it was too far away for me to attend. But it’s probably better, since I got an extra rest day out of it.

Saturday – 10 miles, last 3 miles fast finish

Lately, it’s taken me a few miles to get into long runs. That didn’t really use to happen, but I think it’s just because I’m working harder these days and my body is still adjusting. The last few long runs, I haven’t started feeling really good until about mile 7. But at least I feel good! This past Saturday, I turned on the WTF podcast and just headed out the door, not expecting anything. I didn’t have breakfast except for a couple Powerbar Energy Chews (they look like Gushers on the package and that’s why I got them, but there’s no stuff that comes out of the center when I bite into them, maybe I got a faulty bag), and then I ate one more of those at mile 5.5, but that’s it. I usually eat something more substantial in the morning, but I was out of bananas and didn’t feel like making oatmeal. This could also be why it was hard to get started. But luckily my energy kicked in around mile 7, right when I was supposed to start my fast finish miles. I switched my iPhone from the podcast to my running playlist, and sped up. I was aiming for 8:30-8:45 miles, and the first mile included a half-mile big hill, so I didn’t quite get there. The last two miles were great though, with 8:29 and 8:38 as the average paces. My legs felt super fresh at this point, and like I had just started my run. That was a really encouraging sign!

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After I was done, Jeremy and I braved the weather (it was 60 degrees and sprinkling) and got lunch at a placed called Mexicali in Chinatown. It sounds strange, but it was delicious. We are slowly making our way through Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles. Only about 96 to go. It’s a tough task, but somebody’s gotta do it.

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We then went to Frontrunners in West Hollywood, where I got the new Saucony ISO Triumphs, and I had ordered the newest version of the Wave Creations on Zappos earlier that week. My last two pairs of running shoes were the Wave Creation 14 and 15, so I’m looking forward to seeing if I love the 16 as much as the others.

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I’ll have a lot more to say about these shoes after I’ve run in them for a week or two!

That night, Jeremy and I watched Gone Girl (I finished the book earlier in the day), and I went to bed nice and early.

Sunday – yoga and stretching and foam rolling

The weather was perfect so I sat outside and read for a while in our backyard, then went and bought some plants for our apartment. I didn’t run, but I made sure to stretch and foam roll a lot and ice my knee, and then did this Yoga for Runners video I like.

Our cute little backyard, with lots of citrus fruits on the tree.

Our cute little backyard, with lots of citrus fruits on the trees.

Happy Monday!

Marathon Training: Week 5

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 16

January was the first month I’ve run 100 miles! Before January, my highest mileage month was August of last year, when Jeremy and I were in Paris and I joined the Let’s Run Paris group and I ran about 77 miles total. Anyway, I feel really good about the past month and super excited that I hit 100 miles. I can’t wait to see where I’m at later in the year. Four months to go until the big 26.2!

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Monday – 5 miles easy with 100m strides at the end 

Average pace for this run was 9:29, and I finally felt like I got some mojo back after the tough week before.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

The last Wednesday of the month is always PR day at November Project. We do the same amount of stadium stairs each time, and see if our times improve. The Hollywood Bowl is being worked on though, so a lot of the stairs are inaccessible. Because of this, I haven’t actually been able to compare times lately since we have to change it up. But for this workout we averaged about 2 miles of stadium stair sprints. We wore backwards hats to honor the memory of San Francisco November Project member Sam Dweck, who died in a kayaking accident the weekend before.

Incredible sunrise.

Incredible sunrise.

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Thursday – 6 mile tempo run

I was pretty sore from the day before and my morning route is hilly and half of it is made of dirt, so speedwork is always a struggle. But nevertheless, this tempo run went well! I started with a warm-up mile @ 9:52, and tempo mile paces: 8:46, 8:47, 8:43, 8:41. I ended with a mile cool down @ 10:13. My goal was to do the tempo miles at 8:30-8:45, so I was happy with this one.

I also upgraded my ice game from frozen veggies to a Pro-Tec Hot Cold Therapy wrap for my knee that I ordered on Amazon. Now I can walk around while icing my knee, and don’t have to deal with the veggie bag leaking water all over the place.

unnamedI really like Pro-Tec stuff – I use this compression band on my knee on every run now.

Friday – November Project

I didn’t have time to do three miles after NP on Wednesday, so I made it up Friday, by doing three miles of running up and down an extremely steep sand/dirt hill at Griffith Park. It was tough.

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We had to say goodbye to one of our leaders, Angelo (the guy we’re pointing at), who moved to San Diego over the weekend.

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I had to complete my November Project homework by running in a place that you’re not really supposed to run, so I sprinted in the rain on the roof of my work building. People that could see out the window thought I was crazy.

Bonus pic: it rained that day and I took this picture on the roof of my work building downtown. The sunset was so cool.

The sunset was so cool after the rain stopped.

Saturday – 9 miles easy

I took it extra easy on this long run, and just tried to get into a good, slow pace. It took a few miles to get into it since I was tired from the week, but I finally started feeling good and the last mile was my fastest. Ended up with a 10:19 average pace.

I had to go to work after my run, but as soon as I was done I met Molly from Also Ran Again in Santa Monica! We shared a gigantic pretzel at a place by the beach. It was so awesome to spend some time with her and finally meet in person after following her blog for a long time now. We had such a great time, and everyone needs to go visit her in Tacoma. Oh and later that night she took a selfie with Amy Poehler and they’re basically best friends now, which kind of makes me best friends with Amy Poehler too (pretty sure that’s how it works).

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Funny, sweet, awesome Molly!!

Sunday – 3 miles easy

My legs felt super heavy for this run, which I expected. I usually take two rest days in a week, but didn’t this time and felt the effects. I’m proud of myself for working so hard all week, though.

Later in the day, my parents came into town and we went to lunch at Ledlow downtown, a restaurant Jeremy and I had been wanting to try. I got a mac and cheese croque with a fried egg on top, with a house-made chocolate root beer on the side. We all shared warm pumpkin bread with pistachio butter, and potatoes cooked in duck fat. It was all delicious.

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Jeremy's fried chicken sandwich with fried chicken skin on top.

Jeremy’s fried chicken sandwich with fried chicken skin on top.

Then we walked around the Grand Central Market a bit, then went to Salt & Straw for dessert, maybe my favorite place ever.

Grand Central Market downtown LA.

Grand Central Market downtown LA.

Total Miles: 28

Happy February!

Marathon Training: Week 4 and PRO Compression Ambassadorship

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 17

I made it through a month of marathon training! This past week was a struggle, if I’m being honest. I think I woke up Monday morning with a “oh god what have I gotten myself into” feeling when I realized how many months there still are before the race. Pretty much all my workouts were a struggle and I just generally felt like I was lagging. It was basically the complete opposite of the week before. But I already feel better this week and I make sure to keep in mind that it’s all part of the process and bad weeks are bound to happen.

As a sidenote, last night I got an email saying I was chosen to be a PRO Compression Ambassador! I have been wearing PC socks for so long and swear by them, so I figured it was a perfect opportunity. I have no problem repping a brand that I use religiously! I actually haven’t slept without compression socks in over a year – they have this magical ability to relax my whole body and get rid of the calf cramps I used to experience when trying to fall asleep. They also accompanied me on all six months of my European adventure, even though I had very limited luggage space.

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Back to the weekly recap:

Monday – 6 Miles with 800m repeats

I could NOT hit the 8:30-8:45 paces I was meant to hit for each 800m. I felt like my legs could handle it, but I just didn’t have the energy. It was a little disappointing, but like I said, I remind myself frequently that marathon training is going to include a lot of ups and downs.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project + 3 miles after (5 miles total)

During November Project we did two miles of hill repeats and lots of exercises like burpees, push ups, squat jumps, dips, etc. The hill at the Hollywood Bowl is a beast (no really, it’s actually called The Beast). I was sore the next day for the first time in a long time. The co-creator of November Project, Brogan Graham, and his wife were at this workout, so that was a treat. They are in crazy good shape and it was pretty motivating to be working out near them. I first heard of NP when Brogan was on the cover of Runner’s World a couple years ago (or maybe just a year ago?) and it’s pretty cool that I’m a part of it now. I ran 3 miles after @ 9:25 pace to get in 5 miles for the day.

Brogan is on the very left.

Brogan is on the very left. Source

Brogan and his wife are the ones kissing in the front row. Aw.

Brogan and his wife are the ones kissing in the front row. Aw.

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Thursday – 6 miles easy

Man, this one was tough. I was slogging along, and I just couldn’t get any energy in my steps. I’m sure it had a lot to do with how sore I was from NP the day before, but I haven’t had a run this rough in a while. I ended up with an average of 10:18 min/mile pace.

At least the weather was perfect.

At least the weather was perfect.

Friday – rest

I took an extra rest day this week after feeling like my body really needed it.

Saturday – 8 miles, 4 at up-tempo

This long run was pretty good, better than Thursday’s run at least. I was meant to do the up-tempo miles at 8:45-9:00, and I got really close. The two slower miles in the middle had big hills in them. Splits: 9:35, 9:51, 8:53, 9:06, 8:49, 9:07, 9:44, 10:05. It was also a lot hotter than it has been in a while, so overall I was happy with this run. It’s really good that it’s warming up because the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon will most likely be hot, and my body needs to be used to it.

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Pretty day at the reservoir.

After my run, Jeremy and I went downtown to the Arts District, and ended up walking around for a few hours. I wore some flat, slip-on shoes, which was a big mistake. My left knee pain came back full force, and I was limping around. I should have stopped immediately when I felt it hurting, but I stupidly didn’t. I iced it and foam rolled a lot over the weekend and luckily it felt ok Monday morning.

I'm a sucker for street art.

I’m a sucker for street art.

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Cool.

Some crazy thing we saw while exploring the Arts District.

Some crazy thing we saw while exploring the Arts District.

I am growing very fond of downtown LA.

I am growing very fond of downtown LA.

Sunday – rest

Jeremy and I went to the Melrose Flea Market that takes place every Sunday and FINALLY got a TV stand. Our apartment is starting to really come together. Then my mom and aunt came into town and we had a nice dinner :) Here’s to week 5 of training!

Marathon Training: Week 3

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 18

Sunday marked the end of marathon training week three. My body is still adjusting to the higher mileage, but I really feel like I’m improving. And have I mentioned how much I’m liking having a training plan where I know exactly what paces I’m trying to hit and how many miles to do (thanks, Coach Lauren!)? I had one especially good workout on Thursday, where I beat two new records: 5k time and fastest mile.

Monday – 5 miles + 100m strides

My legs felt pretty heavy from the tough runs of the week before, but I was able to speed up for the strides at the end. Ended up with 5.35 @ 9:36.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

We spent 30 minutes running stadium stairs, then 30 minutes of tabata workouts after. I was supposed to run a few miles after NP to get in 6 miles for the day, but traffic was horrible on my way back from the Hollywood Bowl and I didn’t have time. I made up the mileage on Friday, though.

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Squat jumps!

A sea of v-ups.

A sea of v-ups.

Thursday – 5 miles with 3 at tempo pace

This was the highlight of the week. I did a 1 mile warm-up at 9:37 pace, then 3 miles tempo (8:55, 8:29, 8:17), and a 1 mile cool-down at 9:27. The first tempo mile was up a hill so I lagged a little, but as soon as it was done, I felt like I was flying. I ended up setting a new 5k record (26:38 – my PR is 27:54) and fastest mile (8:17). I felt pretty damn good after this run!

IMG_1872Friday – 5 miles easy

Took this run fairly easy since my legs were feeling kind of heavy, and my right calf started cramping a bit and felt really tight. Ended up with five miles @ 9:36 pace. I made sure to foam roll and stretch that night, after I ate this cheese plate my husband made:

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We try to recreate our European adventures on the weekends.

Saturday – 8 miles

I decided to drive up to Santa Barbara on Saturday to see my family, with a stop in Ventura along the way to meet up with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and my nephews. We ended up walking along the Ventura Promenade, which is where the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon ends. Now I have an even better visual to go along with my mental images of crossing the finish line. I get butterflies just thinking about it… I always run in the morning since afternoon/evening runs rarely go well for me, but I wanted a change of scenery so I waited until I got to SB to complete the eight miles. I didn’t wait long enough after I ate lunch to start my run so I had a sideache pretty much immediately, but luckily it went away around mile two. The first few miles felt just okay, but I got a boost of energy at mile five and felt really strong for the remainder of the run. I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger, and it feels awesome.

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Sunday – beach walk

My mom and I took a walk on the beach Sunday morning, and that was the extent of my exercise for the day. It felt good to walk barefoot on the sand for a couple miles, though, and try to get some color on this pasty white skin.

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Weekly mileage: 23.35