half marathon

Sisterhood of the Bloggers

So, I finally got an email back from Runner’s World Challenge after I emailed inquiring where my training plan was, since I was supposed to start on Monday. When I first registered in November, it asked me what plan I wanted and what the date of the race was, so that the emails could automatically start coming in four months before the race. I didn’t see anything in my inbox on Monday, so I emailed them. I finally got a response asking which marathon training plan I wanted to sign up for. Which is frustrating because I already chose one when I paid for the plan and told them in a separate email after that! I responded, and was sent the training plan I requested. I guess this is my mistake, but I could have sworn I read that it was one of those plans where they email you every day with details about training for that day. That’s honestly the only reason I paid so much for it. But this is one of those printed-out plans, which is okay. I’m resting up this week for my race this weekend, so I’ll start next week. Anyways, I hope it was worth it to buy the plan, fingers crossed.

Last night we were at work late and Chinese food was ordered. I just had a taste since I had already eaten soup for dinner, but I did eat two fortune cookies, and the fortunes inside were very appropriate:

IMG_2150 IMG_2149

On a side note, I don’t know if anyone has had either of these from Trader Joe’s, but they are SO GOOD. Especially together.

IMG_2148

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award-w500

Cori over at She’s Going the Distance was so sweet and nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award! I have seen this one floating around, and am excited I get to fill it out now. You’ll find out that I’m super indecisive and can’t choose just one thing, hooray!

Questions:

1. What is your favorite color?

I don’t think I have a favorite color really, but when it comes to real people’s clothes, I pretty much wear charcoal/black/other dark colors. But when it comes to running clothes, I LOVE bright colors, and don’t have enough.

IMG_0482

2. Favorite animal?

As a pet, a dog. Other than that, anything miniature, like a hummingbird for example. And these micro pigs:

article-0-06B81058000005DC-588_634x421

(source)

Or anything on this list: 24 of the Smallest and Cutest Animals in the World.

3. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

I’d have to say it’s a tie between coffee and the Greens and Ginger juice from Juice Ranch.

IMG_1867

4. Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook is great for keeping up with old friends and posting pictures. I’m just now getting more involved with Twitter again, so maybe that’ll change.

5. Favorite pattern?

I love stripes and plaid, but like I said before, I pretty much only wear greys/charcoal/black.

IMG_0518

Stripes and plaid all in one outfit! (Portland, 2013)

IMG_1769

Fifty shades of grey.

6. What is your passion?

I have a terrible fear of looking back at my life when I’m old and realizing that I didn’t do everything I wanted to do (I think about it all the time, it’s really healthy). My passion is to not let that happen! Traveling is a huge part of that passion, and I’m so glad that Jeremy and I have made the time in our lives to make this dream come true. I can’t wait to experience new cultures, talk to people from other countries, get to know customs, etc. I think that it’s so important to experience things like that, and I can’t imagine how enriched we’ll feel throughout the process.

It's a big ol world out there (Switzerland, 2009)

It’s a big ol world out there (Switzerland, 2009)

My nominees (my apologies if you’ve already done this!):

For Each Wind That Blows

Girl Runs Wild

26.2 x 2

2 Cups ‘N Run

Running Southern

Tartan Jogger

Single-Tracked Mind

A Breakthrough and Some Motivation

Well, I am quite proud of myself today. I got up this morning determined to have a good run after the past couple bad ones, and a good one was had for sure. Today was the first time in the history of my running that I had an average pace under 9 minutes!! I know that my fast pace is a million people’s real slow pace, but for me this is a huge victory. I guess taking it easy the last few days has helped. I had zero knee pain, and I was sort of uncomfortable at times since I was pushing more than I’m accustomed to, but for the most part it felt really good. At one point I had been running almost a mile at an 8:45 pace, and I thought to myself, this isn’t so bad. I will take this victory, and use it as confidence in myself during this weekend’s half, even though I’m going into it with no expectations, but just to enjoy it.

Image

!!!!!

Image

My reward this morning.

ImageImage

It was such a nice way to start the day.

In other news, I’m pretty sure I was supposed to start my Runner’s World Challenge marathon training yesterday (it’s a four-month plan), and I still haven’t received anything. They are supposed to send me an email with my daily training plan every morning. I wrote them an email and haven’t heard back yet, and they never responded to one I sent a couple months ago, so that’s a little frustrating. I paid good money for this plan! Hopefully I’ll hear something soon.

And now, some motivation for your Tuesday, from The Luthas Corporation blog:

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
  • You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
  • You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
  • You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
  • You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
  • You have to try and fail and try again.
  • You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
  • You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
  • You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
  • You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
  • You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.

Stop… Taper Time

(I thought I was being really creative with this title, but with a quick Google search discovered I am not as original as I had hoped.)

Although my knee feels okay, I’m still being careful with it, since we all know pushing through a slight injury could lead to a more serious injury, which would lead to sadness and no more running for a bit. It’s also kind of good timing since it’s taper time before the Mermaid Series half marathon this Saturday. Now, it’s good to look back on past races and think about what worked and what didn’t, and I remember clearly that I felt like I tapered too much and carb-loaded too much before the Santa Barbara International Half Marathon in November. So hopefully this heavy taper won’t affect me as much since I feel like my mileage has been better this training period. But we shall see! I just know I won’t be stuffing my face with only carbs for the entire two days leading up to the race.

Image

A few randoms:

– We ran out of coffee yesterday so I didn’t have any this morning before getting to work. This is probably why I accidentally drove to my parents’ house instead of work this morning. Oops.

– I was trying to clear out pictures that I didn’t use in my WordPress media bank and ended up deleting all my pictures, which looks like it deleted them from all my past entries as well. Hooray.

– This week is my and Jeremy’s last week at work. Pretty weird.

– Last night, Jeremy and I had our first Thai dinner together (somehow we went five years together without it). We went to TAP Thai here in town and it was SO GOOD. It will have to become a more frequent occurrence. It also really got us pumped up to visit Thailand, hopefully next year.

Image

I JUST missed a double rainbow. There’s a slight rainbow though in the middle there… I swear.

Image

Santa Barbara looked so pretty after a much-needed rain.

Happy Monday!

Moving On

This morning’s bootcamp was probably the hardest I’ve ever done. I’m not sure if it’s because I lost some fitness after not doing it for a month during Christmas or what, but I have never sweated that much. It’s pretty high impact and we do more jumping than I’d like, but normally it’s okay. However, all day I’ve had some tenderness behind my left knee, and it just feels kind of strained or overextended. I iced it and foam rolled, and will probably take tomorrow off just to give it a rest. This is not the first time this has happened, so hopefully it’ll feel fine tomorrow like it normally does.

After bootcamp, Jeremy and I got a nice surprise as we were walking out the door to go to work. His name was Monk:

Image

We had to wait a bit for his owner to come get him, but he was such a sweet dog, I didn’t mind at all.

I notoriously make huge salads, and today was no exception:

Image

Complete with Trader Joe’s egg white salad with chives, two thumbs up.

We gave our notice to our landlord today, which was really bittersweet. This is the first apartment Jeremy and I have lived in together, and we’ll always remember it as the first place we lived after we got married. There were plenty of problems with it, but right now it’s hard to remember those things, all I can feel is a bit sad that we are giving it up. But I have to remind myself why we’re doing it, and all the things I want in our next home that this place doesn’t have. I just love the location, and our neighbors are the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Luckily we have become friends with them and are going to meet up in Europe this summer after they spend a few months in Africa (!!). Since we have now given official notice, we really need to start tackling all the stuff that needs to be done – selling furniture, obtaining a storage unit, canceling cable and gas service, etc. All that fun stuff.

It’s such a conflict of emotion because my excitement for our adventure is mixing with my sadness with leaving my family and our apartment (it takes me awhile to process big changes), but I know that it will be worth it, and it doesn’t have to be forever if we don’t want it to be. California will always just be a plane ride away.

Liebster Award

Lis at 26.2 x 2 nominated me for a Liebster Award! I feel so honored, and it is such a sweet gesture. It’s a really great way to get to know other bloggers and to discover new ones.

Rules:
Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog.
Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

1. How long have you been running for?

I started running after taking a jogging class in college and kept it up for a couple years then dropped it. I started up again when I moved back to California in September, 2011.

2. What’s the furthest distance you’ve ever run?

About 13.1 miles.

3. What’s your p.r.?

5k: 27:54, 10k: 56:07, 10-miler: 1:36:44, half marathon: 2:04:22

4. Where’s your favorite place to race?

I’ve only ever raced in Santa Barbara and San Diego, and I loved them both, so it’s a tie.

5. Where’s your least favorite place to race?

I’ve loved all the courses I’ve raced, so I feel like I can’t answer this!

6. What’s your favorite time of year to go running?

I’m spoiled because the weather is nice year-round here so I don’t have to worry about that. But when I was in Georgia, I loved to run in spring.
7. What’s your favorite “naughty” food to eat that you don’t mind sneaking in on long run days (we all have one!)?

Chips and guacamole or cheese and a baguette. And alcohol.

8. If you could enter a race ANYWHERE, which race would it be?

I think I’d love to race in Vancouver, Seattle, or New York City.

9. What’s your favorite running song?

This changes often because I get sick of songs easily, but right now it’s M.I.A.’s “Y.A.L.A.”

10. Do you have any pets? If so what kind and how many?

I had a dog, who was my absolute best friend, almost my whole life but lost her two years ago. I still think about her every day. My parents still have a chihuahua mix, Pez, who my brother found in a box as a puppy when I was 16, and I feel like she is partly my dog:

Image

Pez

11. Name one hobby you enjoy other than running.

I love photography, and just recently got a new camera that I’m REALLY excited to use on our trip.

I’m going to hold off on nominating people until I follow more people… most of the blogs I follow have a ton of followers or have already been nominated! Time to do some research. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me… 

Also, I’m on bloglovin‘, if anyone else is into that!

Week in Review

First off, thanks for everyone’s congratulations on getting our plane tickets! It’s a really big deal for us and having a lot of positive reinforcement makes it that much more exciting. I’ve been discovering a lot of blogs online about people that are doing the same thing we are, which is always fun to read. They are filled with so many tips and travel advice, I find them a lot more helpful than regular travel sites or books. I’ve officially booked all of our lodging accommodations in Iceland for all but the last night. I have some pictures of the cottage we rented for three nights near Hella, in southern Iceland, and I would post them here, but I plan to take tons of pictures with my nice camera when we get there, so I’m just going to wait until then and not spoil the surprise. I look at the pictures on the website daily though… It looks absolutely incredible. And the woman we’re renting it from has been so friendly and sent along so much information about day trips from the cottage and the nearest town/beaches/geothermal pools. Plus it’s on a huge amount of acreage and there are trails all over the property, so finding places to run will be easy! I have read that weekends are pretty happening in Reykjavik, so we’ll spend Saturday night at Bus Hostel, which looks like it has a really cool common area and bar, and hopefully we’ll meet some nice people. This will be my first stay at a hostel (which is kind of ridiculous, after all the traveling I’ve done. But I was always by myself and felt safest just renting a cheap hotel room.), but I booked a private room, with a shared bathroom. I’m sure after we get in the swing of things we’ll start staying in the dorm-type rooms with bunk beds to save money, but I’m just easing us into it at this point.

I also found this website, which I think is the coolest thing ever. It’s two guys that have this company (not sure if it’s actually a company since it’s free) and basically you just call them up if you’re visiting Reykjavik and want to go on a run, and they’ll meet you and take you around on however long of a run you want. I’m thinking I’ll do this for my long run that Sunday morning after we stay at the hostel. Seriously, what a cool idea, and so selfless! If you can’t tell, I’m so very excited about our Iceland trip.

I love you already, Icelandic horses. Will you love me too?

(source)

Puffins are so dang cute, too. I hope we see some.

Puffins are so dang cute, too. I hope we see some.

(source)

I love planning. If I could make a living planning things for people, I think I would love it. Even though wedding planning was super stressful and hard at times, I still loved the whole process. And planning trips? Even better. I get almost an adrenaline rush when I’m doing it (is that weird?). I just love all the researching that goes into it, and finding the perfect places to stay, the perfect itinerary, etc. It’s a good thing Jeremy is okay with me doing all the planning because I don’t think I could handle someone else taking the reins and me not being in control of it.

Weekly Recap

I had a bit of a different week, as I had to report for jury duty on Wednesday. Everyone told me that if I told the judge about my deadlines with the newspaper, he/she would excuse me. But it didn’t quite happen that way. I was among about 100 people at first, and they eventually called about 20 of us into the courtroom. Twelve jurors were already chosen, but they brought in the 20 of us to choose an alternate juror. Lo and behold, my name was randomly the one they chose (second after a woman that got excused because she had a moral issue with the jury system), and I had to go sit up in the juror’s box and get sworn in, then I was asked questions by the judge and two lawyers, while speaking into a microphone in front of everyone. I have pretty bad stage fright, but I surprisingly wasn’t too nervous for this. I told the judge about the tight newspaper deadlines, etc., but the lawyers decided to keep me on. So everyone got excused to go home besides me and the other twelve jurors.

So I spent most of the day yesterday in court, and the case is expected to go until Wednesday. It is pretty interesting stuff! Otherwise, my week of workouts looked liked this:

Monday – rest

Tuesday – bootcamp + sprints

Wednesday – bootcamp + sprints

Thursday – 6 miles

Friday – rest

Saturday – 11 miles

My long run this morning felt really good, I was even able to ramp up the speed at mile 10. I’m feeling good about the Mermaid Series half in two weeks. I’m going to go into it with reasonable expectations, and just enjoy the race and spending the weekend with my grandma. Hope everyone’s weekend has been going well!

Dealing with a Setback

I’m finally back in Santa Barbara, and thankful to be back in warmer weather and in close proximity to the ocean. Not to mention getting back to eating healthy and back on a good routine. As soon as Jeremy and I landed in Los Angeles, my mom took us to Real Food Daily, a vegetarian (although almost everything on the menu is vegan) restaurant in Santa Monica. It was just what I needed.

We started with the Sea Cake: Butternut squash, yam and sea vegetable croquette, with pesto and sweet chili aioli. It had the consistency of a crab cake, one of our favorite dishes, and it was so tasty.

IMG_1783

For the entree, I ordered the Great Cardini: Tuscan kale, romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, red quinoa, and roasted yam croutons with creamy almond shallot dressing, avocado, spiced pumpkin seeds and macadamia parmesan. A huge bowl of goodness.

IMG_1784

For dessert, Jeremy and I shared a vegan chocolate chip cookie, which kind of had the consistency of cake. It was delicious. From their website: “Our pastries are vegan and made with organically grown ingredients by our in-house pastry chef.” Everything on the menu looked amazing, and I can’t wait to go back and eat there again.

The Setback

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been sick. It’s still lingering, and I am doing my best to not let it discourage me and remind myself that I will feel 100% again soon. As far as my training goes, there’s only four weeks until the Mermaid Series Half Marathon, where I was hoping to break two hours for the first time. I have to be realistic, and having taken almost two weeks off, I need to rethink my goals. I went out for a four-mile run yesterday, telling myself to take it real easy and just see how I felt. I was preparing for the worst, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, I bet it won’t be that bad. Well, it was. I honestly felt like I’d never run before and I was worn out within a few minutes. I kept going, and finished four miles, but it was so tough. Thinking that it couldn’t possibly get worse, I went out this morning for a slow five miles. And it was definitely worse. I was plugging along, at least two minutes slower per hour than normal, and I had zero energy, and felt like I was just starting out again. I seriously forgot how hard running used to be, which is easy to do when you have been so consistent and you continuously work on increasing your mileage. But I ran nine miles just two weeks ago and it felt so easy, I kept telling myself, how could this be possible?

I came across this article that talks about how much fitness you lose when you take time off:

Research shows you shouldn’t be too worried about losing significant fitness if your break from running is less than two weeks.

You’ll lose some conditioning in your aerobic system and muscles, but pre-inactivity fitness will return quickly. Again, this assumes that you have built a healthy and consistent base of training of 4-6 months prior to taking time off. It’s not the end of your career if you haven’t been training for this long; it simply means that the reduction in fitness will be slightly more pronounced.

After two weeks of not training, significant reductions in fitness begin to occur and you’ll have about 2-8 weeks of training (depending on the length of inactivity) ahead of you to get back to your previous level of fitness.

Since I’m just about at that two-week mark, I feel hopeful that my fitness will return quickly, but also worried because I definitely don’t have 2 weeks to spare to solely get back to where I was before. I guess I just feel like I shouldn’t feel this horrible while running if I’m going to catch up quickly.

This link has a list of tips on how to get back into training after taking some time off, and I found it really helpful. Obviously, every person’s body is different, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation, but I’m going to take some of this advice, and hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon.

If missed training time is ten to fifteen days:

At this point, you’ve missed a decent amount of training and it’s going to take you a couple of weeks to feel back to normal and be ready to train at your previous intensity and volumes.

  • Start with three easy days of running at 60-70 percent of your normal mileage, increasing 10-15 percent each day. Include strides and hill sprints. Your first workout after this three days should be similar to the fartlek mentioned previously.
  • After this introductory fartlek, run easy (or rest if you normally have rest days scheduled) for two days at your normal easy run mileage. Then, try this workout: 12 x 400 meters at 5k-8k pace with a quick (steady pace) 45 second or 100 meter jog recovery. This workout has you running quick, which helps turn the legs over, but the short, moving rest will also make it a challenging endurance session. Plus, it’s only 3 miles in volume, so you won’t over extend yourself.

After these two introductory workouts, you should be all set to jump back into your regular training mileage and intensities.

It’s easy to let a setback deter and discourage you (which happened to me back in college, and I ended up quitting running altogether), but I’m just going to try to stay positive and keep on trucking, and hope my fitness returns to normal soon. The good news is that I think Jeremy and I are going to stay in town until March 9th so I can run the San Diego Half Marathon, which I’m already registered for. This course is not nearly as flat as the Mermaid Half, so it will be harder to achieve the sub-two hour time, but I’m remaining hopeful.

I’m curious, how has everyone dealt with setbacks in the past? Any advice would be appreciated!

Race Decisions

After the Santa Barbara Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I was seriously turned off from running after having a pretty bad race (despite my PR), which only lasted about one or two days (not surprisingly). I didn’t want to sign up for another race and I figured I’d just go to bootcamp every day instead. Again, that lasted for a very short amount of time. Now I’m itching to sign up for another half marathon, sometime early next year. I’m actually already registered for the San Diego Half Marathon on March 9 (which I’d love to do since it was my very first half), but like I said before, I’m not sure if Jeremy and I will still be in California in March. I found out about the Mermaid Series Half Marathon on February 8, and it’s an all-women race that’s really close to where my grandma lives in Pacific Beach. I looked at some reviews online of past races, and it seems to be a popular one.

It’s pretty pricey, but seems to be a good fit. There are a slew of other races I’d love to do, but sometimes it’s hard to choose the perfect race. It will be my third half marathon, so I’m still fairly new to running longer races and not 100% confident in my ability to know how much time I need to give myself between them.

February 8 is about two months away, which brings up another issue. Most half marathon plans are 12 weeks long, but I’m looking at about 8 weeks. It seems like that would be plenty of time since my last half was last month, but I’m so paranoid about getting injured that I don’t want to overdo anything. But do I necessarily need to follow a plan from the beginning if I just ran a half? So many questions and things to consider! Not to mention we’re going to Georgia/Tennessee from Christmas Eve-January 11, so I need to consider how much I’ll realistically be able to train during that time. I plan on running a ton when we’re in Athens (especially because we’ll be eating our way through our old favorite restaurants), but we’ll be in the mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for four days in a cabin, and it may be snowy and I don’t know if I’ll be able to run outside. But hopefully I can just plan around it and figure something out!

Can’t wait to be back in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Too bad we’re missing the fall foliage!

Can’t wait to be back in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Too bad we’re missing the fall foliage!