Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What's this? What's this? What is THIS! PFTW.

(I've been working hard on convincing Gab we should go to Disneyland for her birthday, and have Nightmare Before Christmas on the brain)

Last night, I did a Fitness Blender video. It for REAL almost made me vomit and/or pass out.

This is very sad, because in the not-too-distant-past, this video was challenging, but not That Hard.

It shouldn't come as a shock, but it was: working out does not become any easier when you take a month+ off.

PFTW:
Monday: I did this video. More accurately, it did me (in).

Tuesday: While I would like to say I will run, HAHAHAHA. I will probably do an arms/cardio video.

Wednesday: Total body OR lower body. Maaaaaaybe a run?

Thursday: #1 is racing, so rest day (besides all the trekking around following her race).

Friday: Arms/Cardio

Saturday: Gabby's birthday!

Sunday: RUN FOR REAL - 4ish.


I am not really feeling like running, so.... I don't know. I will, I just don't want to? Bah.

***************************************************************************

XC Update??

#1 had a KILLER race on Saturday - they ran an event that was new-to-them, so we didn't know much about the course. For any other XC teams considering the Central Park Invite in Huntington Beach... let me tell you, that course is not easy. It is lovely, and great for spectators, and seems like a real XC course - it has everything, wood chips, trail, roots, hills, sand, grass. It was fun... for us to watch.

It was also 90* and sunny, and she raced in the hottest part of the day, so that was not great.

And yet... she ran a really, really strong race.
 
Do you know that she passed EVERY SINGLE GIRL in those pictures?? Including that one on the bottom right in the red jersey waaaaay ahead of her IN THE FINISH CHUTE??? She's been working hard on finishing strong, so.... I guess that's working out okay for her.
 
They finished 2nd overall in the girl's varsity race, finishing ahead of some incredibly strong (and high ranked) schools. Wheee.
 
This week is her first league meet, so that's pretty exciting. 
 
Also exciting, is the introduction of the parent's hospitality tent. Why yes, I WOULD enjoy standing in your shade and thank you for the muffins and coffee.
 
XC is really the best.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. Y'all, it's hard to figure out what to blog about when I'm not running.

I LOVE my job so far, and everyone here. I really, really didn't like my last job. I'm at the end of my fourth week here, and it's so great being trusted to handle the responsibility I was hired for. The work I'm doing is certainly nothing earth-shaking, but it's engaging and really fun. AND THE PEOPLE ARE SO GREAT. Also, fun fact, it's a restaurant marketing company, so they keep us really well fed. Which really makes the not running extra trecherous....

But after spending a year+ having allthetime, I totally feel like now, I have NONE of the time. It's befuddling to me how I ever trained for marathons AND worked full time.

I recognize that I'm just making excuses and being whiny, because in reality, I'm working great hours, I get to take the kids to school, and my commute is half of what it used to be. I just can't seem to get it together. Yet. I'm sure I will. I'm just adjusting still, I guess.


2. Would you like to see my kids instead?
First day of school!

ignore the dining room that is currently in remodel phase...
Me: Take a quick picture I can send to grandma.

#2: Like this!

Um. Okay, then.


3. Cross Country season is in full swing, and there are so many numbers and statistics and man I love it! For the first time in years, #1's girls' varsity team was not ranked in our division, and the coach was very sad about that. To be fair, they lost the three strongest runners when they insisted on graduating and going off to college or some nonsense.

But the new team is working hard, and they're doing pretty well - they're all better than they were at the start of last year, so hopefully that trajectory continues.

I was SUPER excited to hear that they were going to be bussed to the races this year, so we didn't have to go so so so early, and STAY all day.

I was SUPER excited to hear that, until this news was followed up with instructions to have them at the school by 5:45am on race days. That is less appealing to me.

Anyway.

Our school hosts the third largest invite in the country - this year was the 34th year, and it's AN ORDEAL. The kids head over on Friday before lunch, then work to set up the course and act as course monitors, leaving after the last race around 11pm. The next day, they race while parents are course monitor, from 2-10. AND THEN we get to break down the entire course, and transport everything back to the moving trucks. It's a pretty special time.

I don't even get to watch her race!

The highlight of the evening was when the company that supplied the timing chips advised a group of 50 kids at 11pm that all FIFTEEN THOUSAND chips needed to be sorted into numerical order. That was really fun.

The next morning, a friend alerted me to this cool shot in the local paper.
Which was followed by 20 minutes of me driving all over Irvine looking for a copy, only to be thwarted by Late Sunday edition I could find being different from the home delivery edition he was showing me. It's all cool, though, because I totally snagged some killer coupons, so it paid for itself, because last night I used it to buy 10 yogurts for $3. #ExtremeCouponing


Monday, September 15, 2014

Don't Call it a Comeback

Because I don't know if this will stick.

First, some SoCal holiday race discounts, and then I'll update on the exciting happenings around here. (that's an exaggeration, kind of).

The INAUGURAL Halloween Terrifying Ten Miler!!!

They're so cute!!!
There's a 10 mile, 5k, 10k, and kids Super Hero run - I'm SO excited for this one! Oct. 26 in Dana Point - I hear the course is beautiful. You can register HERE - I'll be running the 10 mile!

The Turkey Tri, Pumpkin Pie Kids Du, and Turkey Trot in Bonelli Park in San Dimas
November 22 and 23 - register HERE.

And finally, my FAVORITE race of the holiday season, the Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run.

This is home to my 10k and 5k PR's, so obviously there's something magical about the course. That's the only explanation. The race is fun, the medals are adorable, there's a kids' race, and there's a costume contest, so obvs it's the best ever. Previous recaps here for the 10k, and here for the 5k. Register HERE.

You can use HEATHERDISCOUNT for all of these to save an extra 10% - Renegade Races are really reasonably priced, and they consistently have great organization and swag - I love being able to support a local company that's so fantastic.

*******************************************************************************

July was spent mostly wallowing in the lack of job, and waiting waiting waiting waiting and hoping hoping hoping for a position I was interviewing for to come through (seriously, I think I started interviewing in late April? May?).

I also started marathon training! I picked a pretty big goal, and my training started really great.

And then August.



We spent a few weeks in Florida visiting our families - a week in Miami, then up to the Tampa area - and my training stopped dead. I really thought I could rearrange my training schedule to run just short/speedy runs during the time I was there - so I ran 15 miles the day before we left, and planned to run long the day we returned.

None of those planned things happened. We went out for a run the second day we were in Miami, and I couldn't hang. Florida/other Southern State people, I don't understand how you do it.
At least it was pretty?

When I wasn't heaving my way through stupid 2-3 mile runs, we did some fun things.
#nofilter, Dunedin 
Fun fact - there were DOLPHINS AND MANATEES by those rocks. O.o.
Ft DeSoto

Later, gator.

It was a really great trip, even if we didn't fit Disney World in there.

And then my IL's were visiting us, so training continued to be derailed.

And then XC started again.

The Face of Fast?



And then - THEN....

I got a job. 

And that brings us to right now.

I started working last week, and so far, it's been pretty great. They had an incredibly long hiring process, which I admit, I mocked mercilessly at the time.... but everyone I've met has been wonderful, and so funny, and nice-but-not-too-nice-but-still-snarky, so obviously that's the culture they've been trying to build and this process apparently works for them.

I am working in secret places, no one can see.

I ran zero miles last week, so I'm pretty sure I'm gonna drop the marathon in November plan, because I just don't feel like I have time to train properly - getting back into working, and school, and figuring out schedules is more complicated than I remembered, so I don't want to overly complicate things by throwing in marathon training, too.


Anyway.

I've decided to go for a half PR in late December at San Diego Holiday Half - I heard it was super fun, and it should be an easy target because it's downhill HA. Friend Shannon-the-no-longer-blogger is running, too, so I'm excited. And it gives me heaps of free time to get through new job and XC season.

so. Hi. Maybe I'll be back, because I really do enjoy documenting my training.

Maybe!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Trail Run #1 Recap / PFTW

Ways to make a trail race seem like an awful idea:

  • run when it's super hot and sunny
  • eat pizza immediately before leaving the house
  • do a hiit video in the morning


This was not ideal, but somehow (probably because we're just the fastest people ever), Angry Julie and I squeaked out a course PR by FIVE MINUTES. We're amazing runners, obvs.

The course this time was the counter-clockwise loop. For some unknown reason, we (Julie, Sheila and I) decided that we remembered this route being eaaaaaasy. This was a lie, because it was HARD. Okay, maybe it was harder than we remembered because last year when we did this one, it was cool and overcast.


We started right on time (this really is the start line, despite it saying Finish), like all of Renegade's events. There were three water stations available on the course - one at about a mile, one around mile 2.5ish, and one at mile 4.

The course starts off running the bike path into the back of Peter's Canyon park, up to the ridgeline. The ridge was hot hot hot hot and so dusty, because hello drought. There are - I think? - 4 or 5 big climbs before you start downhill, then down into the canyon on the way back - and it was glorious and cool down there. Perfect.
Number 1....

We finished right around 55:35, and our time on this last year was 1:00:25, I think, so despite FEELING like it was very rough, I was pretty pleased with the time.

After the race, you're given a choice of barbeque or t-shirt (the shirt is the same for all three races in the series, and you can also choose to do both the food and the shirt for an extra $5). I always choose the food, obviously.


I really, REALLY love these races - there is a kids' obstacle course at the finish line area, and it's just so fun and family friendly.

The next race is July 10th, running the clockwise version of the course - last time, we ran faster on that course, so maybe we can PR AGAIN.


We are the champions.

*******************************************************************************

Quick recap of last week/PFTW

Monday: Nada

Tuesday: run
4 easy easy miles with run club. I am LOVING this new run club - it is a fun, social run organized by Lifetime Run. The only con (for me) is the distance - we start at the Lifetime Fitness in Laguna, so it's a bit of a trek, but luckily I've worked out some carpooling with a friend close by. (Tuesday evenings at 5:45, 1 hour - join us!)

Wednesday: Nothing

Thursday: XT, trails
I forgot that I hate HIIT. I got confused, because the video I selected was only 16 minutes, so I thought... huh, how bad could that be. THE WORST EVER, BECAUSE HIIT SUCKS. I kid, it was fine, just really hard. I did THIS video, followed by 9 minute abs/obliques, and then 20 minute Lean Arms workout - did you know rhomboids are the weakest muscles ever? I hadn't done this video in awhile, but I immediately remembered. All videos courtesy of Fitness Blender, of course.

Trail run in the evening.

Friday: Nada
Saturday: Again nothing

Sunday: "long"
6 miles - 1 mile solo, 4 with a friend, 1 with The H - he's been injured, and wanted to see how things were feeling. Apparently they're feeling GREAT, because he ran faster than me JERK.


I feel like I'm missing a key component to triathlon training. OH RIGHT, EVERYTHING BESIDES RUNNING. Hashtag lazy.
*********************************************************************

PFTW:

Monday: 3 miles easy (spoiler alert, I did 3 easy trail miles yesterday)
Tuesday: 4 easy, arms
Wednesday: Swim/Bike hahahaha
Thursday: 5 with 800s gross, arms
Friday: Swim/Bike
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 8 miles

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Trail Run Series! Weekly Recap / PFTW

This week kicks off the first race of the Summer Trail Run Series!!

I absolutely love this event, and I'm SUPER excited to run again this year. Registration is still open for Thursday's race - only $33 and it includes a fun expo after the race with a barbecue (or a shirt). The series runs June 19, July 10, and August 7 - register for the full series for only $28/race. What a bargain. Use HEATHERDISCOUNT for an extra 10% off, yo.

Plus, who WOULDN'T want to run with me when I'm so fashionable.

Yeah. you know you want to.


Last week...

Monday: Nothing

Tuesday: Nothing

Wednesday: run/xt
Did 5 miles with 4x400 at a relatively easy pace (it was actually my goal 5k pace, so "easy"). I haven't done real speedwork for awhile, so I wanted to ease in. Went well. Followed that in the gym with a total body video from FitnessBlender - this wasn't so bad while I was doing it, but the next day I could barely even move, my hamstrings were sooooo sore. So tricky, FB!

Thursday: Nothing, again!

Friday: run/xt
4 miles, easy pace, and this was teeeerrrrrriiiiibbbbllllle. I didn't enjoy it, is what I'm saying. Followed by an old FB arms video, which was also terrible, so I guess it was just an off day. Lame.

Saturday: Nothing!!

Sunday: run
TEMPO! I had no idea how this would go, but I thought I'd give it a shot. 2 mile warm up, 3 at tempo (9-8:42), 1 mile cool. I was close - 9:05, 9:01, 8:42. It was hard. But, looking back at my older workouts, it's the fastest I've run since last October, so I guess there's that!

Related: I think I've lost a handful of pounds over the last month, but since I'm not doing nearly as much strength work (because I'm lazy), I'm assuming it's muscle loss. Womp.

Related: Instead of working out, apparently, I spent the entire week just cooking things.


Mmmmm. Pork.

PFTW

Monday: nothing
Tuesday: 4 miles easy, XT
Wednesday: Swim
Thursday: trails! and arms
Friday: Bike, swim
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Bike, run long


Unrelated to training, but related to everything else, I've jumped back into job hunting and golly, is it the Least Fun Activity Ever. People are crazy, man. Interviewing is so bizarre. Sigh. SIGH.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Guess what's back. back again.

Ohhhh yeah.

I am registered for iTRYathlon (a Renegade Race Series event) again this year, and in hopes of bettering my time from last year, I've started training!

Thank goodness I keep a blog account of my stuff, because in my BRAIN, I thought I was unhappy with something. In real life, it turns out, my recap tells me that I had a great time and I even PR'ed the 5k! So the bar is set preeeetttttty high already.

I have literally for real not swum or used my bike since last year's event. I know, I'm the greatest. I just found that I didn't really like the bike, and.... that I was too lazy to keep up with swimming (actually, I thought that the pool I used was under renovation for some reason, but then it turned out I was just trying to go every day while they are closed for cleaning, as posted - I am not smart).

So last week I busted out the swim stuff, and hopped in the water for 20 minutes of laps and... spoiler, it's still hard! Who knew if you don't do something, it gets more difficult.

I drafted up a training plan for the next 11 weeks, and hopefully I will mostly stick to it. Like last year, I am running more than the swim/bike - I really want to maintain a decent running base so marathon training this fall isn't the Worst Ever.

I have some vague goals in mind already, but I'll have to see where I'm at realistically as I start training.

Yay!

If you're in SoCal, and you're tri-curious, I can't recommend this event enough! It's super low-key, and impeccably organized. Plus, as far as tri's go, it's priced reasonably - right now just $85 for the tri. Also available are a junior tri, a 5k, and a kids' fun run. You can check out pricing here, and - AND - you can use HEATHERDISCOUNT for 10% off.

Also, it's women only for the tri, which means no men running amok in tri gear. If you've experienced this phenomenon, you know what I'm saying here.


So with THAT said, this is what my PFTW looks like...

Monday: arms
Tuesday: 3-4 easy, XT (tried a new total body video last week that I really liked)
Wednesday: swim - 20 minutes easy, arms
Thursday: 5 easy, bike 30 min easy (not together)
Friday:  swim - 20 min easy
Saturday - 6 easy
Sunday - bike 30 easy

I'm not putting anything in stone yet - we'll see how this plays out next week, and I'll adjust as necessary. Like, I don't know how well the arm/XT work will go on the days I have it scheduled for, so... work in progress. I threw the bike in on the weekend, in case The H wants to ride with me, since that's his most favorite thing to do.

I'm also vaguely tossing around the idea of trying to PR at a July 4th 5k, but... I'm not super committed to it. But I might toss some extra speed work in if I feel feisty.

Regarding my last race... well, I'm still disgruntled about it. I mean, not enough to be, like, on edge or anything. But I spent a few days pouting, and generally being irritated about it. It's over, nothing to do about that now, except pick a redemption race and try again. I am going to have to really figure out this summer running nonsense, because I'm struggling with the heat and staying hydrated. GROSS. I hate summer.

**********************************************************************

Over the weekend, #1 ran one of our favorite local races - Corona del mar Scenic 5k. Many years ago, this was my very first 5k, and the biggest reason this race was selected was for the promise of a "complimentary restaurant-row feast" at the finish line.

Why, yes, that IS a whole baguette. Right on top of the pizza and mini creme brulee and pork tacos and breakfast burrito and scones.

Because I have other places I'm planning on spending my race budget, only the kid ran this year, but man, did she kill it.

20:44 for a new pr on a hilly hilly hilly course (and knocking 4.5 minutes off her time on this course!), and 14th place overall in the female race. She was pretty psyched that she could pull this out during her off season, and after a long season of track work, and no hill work.

XC is going to be so fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon - Recap

Well.

Let's take some inventory here of things that made yesterday really, really terrible for me:
1. The sun.
2. The hot.
3. The humid.
4. The hills.
5. My left ass/thutt area.
6. My brain.

I did not beat 2:05. I did not PR. I did not not walk.

Lest this be all whine whine whine whine, I will tell you about the event overall, and then recap all the ways I made it terrible.

Renegade Racing offered packet pick up Saturday and Sunday at Road Runner Sports in Laguna - pick up was super fast and easy, plenty of volunteers. The shirts are unisex, but nice, and super duper soft and comfortable.



The race is Memorial Day themed, and this year was run in honor of the US Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion.



The race starts in front of the Laguna Hills Mall, and parking at the mall is free, and plentiful. I left my house around 6, and was parked by 6:15. I sat around for awhile getting my stuff situated, and headed over to the start area around 6:30. There are a billion port-o-potties, but also a billion people in line - so plan accordingly. Getting in line at 6:30 was okay for me, I was out and heading to the start line at 6:50, and was able to squeeze in just fine.

There are no corrals, but there are pace signs clearly designed to help people self-police. There were also several pace groups with signs - I lined up just between the 2 hour and 2:10 groups. Like always, the race started exactly on time (I LOVE that).

The website describes the course as "scenic and challenging", and I AGREE. There are rolling hills throughout, some short and steep, some long long long long and steady.

from the website
The course loops through Laguna Woods Village, then down Alicia Parkway to Aliso and Woods Canyon. Some out and back loops through the park (all paved), then back up the Aliso Creek bike trail to finish at Laguna Hills High School.

It's pretty and scenic...


And very, very exposed. And the canyons are HOT.

There were 8 aid stations set up, all with water, and 4 with electrolyte drinks.

After the finish, they have water, and some fruit available, and a large finish line expo and family fun area.

The medals are AMAZING.



In addition to the half marathon, a 5k and 10k are also offered (same start/finish area, same start time), and a kids race at the finish expo area. Shuttles are available to ride you back about a mile to the parking lot, but if you don't want to wait it's totally walkable. I did wait, but only waited 2 or 3 minutes. I was feeling lazy.

Registration is SUPER reasonable, starting at just $60, and going up to only $75 - for races in OC, this is a killer deal. The 5k starts at $25, and the 10k at $30. Renegade always puts on a well organized event, with nice medals, so these prices are great.

Overall: Pretty course, beware it can get warm, and it is certainly challenging. Love the shirt, everything was well organized, plenty of water and volunteers.

***************************************************************************

So to recap MY race.

What went right:
my clothes didn't chafe me?

What went wrong:
all of the other things.

Something I tried to impart on #1 during track was that it's OKAY to have a bad race, but it's not okay to just say it's a bad race and learn nothing from it. I'm trying hard to learn something, but I'm really struggling, because there was so much that I did totally wrong. Since this is not my first rodeo, I am a little puzzled at myself - how did I even manage to make it so awful!?

So, first, categorized under things I cannot control. The sun came out, before the start gun even went off. By mile two, it was full blazing hot. It was also humid. I am a sweaty person when I run, and I lose A LOT of salt, so I knew that it was something I needed to be aware of - I hydrated a lot in the days before, and thought I was on top of it.

You can caption this "Dyyyyyying".

I originally intended to start out a little faster and hope to bank some time - most of the downhill on this course was in the first half, so I wanted a buffer. Hence, I ran with the 2:00 pacer for the first mile, and that was a terrible effing plan. TERRIBLE (you can categorize this under: Things I Should Know Better Than To Try, But Did It Anyway). I didn't have trouble sticking with them, but it was certainly faster than I have any business running in a half marathon. I realized it, and tried to slow down, but didn't do enough slowing for that to help.

By mile 2, I thought I might be in trouble. I felt sluggish (even running a faster pace than I should have been), and the thutt area was starting to niggle, and it was HOT and I was sweating like a beast.

At mile 3, we passed the 5k finish, and I almost pulled out. Almost. The ONLY reason I did not, was because I figured I could at least try to make it through the 10k mark, and then see how I felt. Joke was on me, because the 10k split off shortly after that, so I just kept going.

For fueling, I figured I'd try the plan that worked for me at Holiday Half - 1 margarita shot blok every mile starting at mile 3, and a Gu at mile 8.

By mile 5, I had a giant headache, and had already forgotten when I took my last shot blok. If I didn't have runner brain, I would have realized that I needed to fuel. Instead, I figured this race was already a mess and kind of gave up.

Mile 6.5, on pace for 2:02, and while I knew that I couldn't sustain this, I figured a PR was still in the picture.

Mile 8, I started texting Becka. lols.

Mile 10, I was still roughly on 2:05 pace, and thought if I could juuuuust hold on to 9:35ish pace, I would be okay.

Now seems like a good time to share my splits.
1 - 8:53
2 - 9:13
3 - 9:12
4 - 9:09
5 - 10:04
6 - 9:29
7 - 9:43
8 - 10:28
9 - 10:01
10 - 10:07
11 - 11:38
12 - 11:21
13 - 10:51
.27 - 10:20

Finish: 2:13:00.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Quite obviously, I melted. I stopped fueling at some point, because I figured... why even bother, because I was not going to finish well anyway. I do know better, and I know I needed the extra salt, but I didn't care. I literally and for real, jogged across the finish line, and didn't caaaare.

I walked A LOT the last 3 miles, and I am, frankly, shocked those paces aren't even slower. I sure can't wait for the official pictures, because I bet I look GLAMOROUS.

It was an off-day for me from the very start, my stomach was being wonky, I had some side cramps, I didn't get into any kind of rhythm, and then I just quit. I'm not even that sad about the time, because hello, that's not even a BAD time for me. I'm just pretty annoyed that I quit. It has been awhile since my brain broke during a race (ahem, RnR Seattle), so I guess it was overdue. It's not you, race, it's me!

OH WELL.

I feel totally fine today, no residual soreness (aside from the thutt issue). I credit this to my extensive walking "cool down" at the end, from mile 11-13.27.


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