Run Now, Wine Later (1)

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Round 2 – Race Recap

And just like that, I became a member of the (maybe imaginary) elite club (that I just made up) comprised of crazy people who have run 4 half marathons.

Weekend before last, I completed the Shamrock’n Half Marathon for the second time! And then we left for a vacation to Maui the next day. I typed up this recap on the plane ride over to Hawaii while everything was still fresh.

Each time I run a half marathon, I’m reminded how different every race is. I use the same training plan, the distance is still 13.1 miles, but each race really becomes its own unique experience, starting with the first 7+ mile training run all the way till the moment I cross the finish line.

This race was no exception, and in fact, was even more different than any half marathon I’ve ran…thanks to California’s best friend/worst enemy, El Niño. Continue reading

pre race

Nike Womens Half Marathon SF Recap

I did it, guys.

I survived another half marathon!

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Aaaand there were firefighters in suits at the end. #notcomplaining

Before I forget everything, I want to go through my day before/morning of prep, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon itself, and thoughts afterward. For the record, my thoughts after my first half marathon and before this one were that I would probably aim to run 2 per year going forward. Before I had even gotten more than halfway through my training for this race, I decided that was probably unsustainable. I will definitely run more half marathons, but 2 per year might be a bit excessive 😉 Continue reading

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Recap

Well, my first half marathon has come and gone!

I have felt such a wide range of emotions throughout the past 3 months, in particular these last couple of weeks, and it’s kind of hard to put it all into words.

But here’s my attempt!

Pre-Race

As I said on Monday, I drank bottomless mimosas the day before my race………..don’t act surprised.

As much as I wish I could blame someone else for convincing me, or peer pressure, I just really love brunch and I really love mimosas. I definitely paced myself and alternated with water and food, but it was still probably not what all the fitness experts would recommend!

One piece of advice I read repeatedly was to not try anything new the day before/of your race. I’m pretty sure I had at least 1 drink the night before 80% of my Saturday morning training runs these past ~14 weeks. Sometimes you just need to unwind on Friday night! This may have been one fact I used to rationalize our brunch fun the day before. 😉

Another reason why I not only forgive myself for letting loose the day before, but also am kind of glad I am, is because I was seriously psyching myself out the week leading up to the race. Every night from Sunday til Friday, I had interrupted nights of sleep with crazy anxiety-induced dreams. Some were unrelated to the race (for example, about my personal life or work), some were race-related. I was getting serious pre-race jitters…I think the fact that I wanted to show Tyler a good time during his visit was a good thing, because it distracted me from the fact that all of my hard work and training for 3+ months was coming to a head on Sunday morning. If we hadn’t gone out with my friends, I would have been way too focused on the race and, knowing me, I would have been a mess the night before/morning of the race.

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We ended up going to sleep around 11 the night before with a 6:45 wake up call. I woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I just laid in bed and thought about how excited I was haha. Once our alarms went off, I jumped out of bed, yelled at Tyler to wake up, and started getting ready. We had toast and peanut butter and a banana, I took some of my fitmixer Clean Energy, and around 7:15, Chris arrived and we were on our way!

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pre-race essentials

I forgot that a ton of streets would be blocked off for the race, but we luckily got on the road before the first wave shot off, and were able to get waved across 13th Street even though it was barricaded. We found parking close to Raley Field and as we walked out of the car and I sighed, “PHEW THAT WASN’T AS STRESSFUL AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE”, the boys looked at me like I was crazy for expecting parking at 7:30am on a Sunday morning to be stressful. Apparently I was a little on edge!

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do i look nervous? BECAUSE I WAS.

The Race

About 7,000 people ran in the (10th annual!) Shamrock’n Half Marathon, and we were in Wave 2 of 4, scheduled for 8am. After the gun shot off, we didn’t actually cross the starting line for almost 10 minutes. Everyone was basically bottle necking into the starting line.

Chris and Tyler don’t like to know how far they’ve gone, whereas I am pretty anal about knowing exactly how far I’ve gone and how fast I’m going. So when MapMyRun told me how fast we were going, I kept the distance to myself but let the guys know occasionally what our pace was. I made sure that we stayed slow for the first 3-4 miles because I did not want to go out too fast.

The entire race was packed. I felt like we were passing people up the entire time. This ended up being a good thing, as passing people up requires you to speed up a bit. Also, Chris, Tyler & I totally worked as an awesome team. We didn’t even have to say anything- one of us would make a move to pass up whoever was in front of us, and the other 2 would just silently follow.

 

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picture from a training run- this is the narrow path all 7,000 of us had to fit through!

The first 5 miles were all flat through Downtown, we were running around 9:15 min/mile, and I felt comfortable the whole time. We hit the bike trail in the middle of mile 5 and I hit my stride- that’s where I trained every week! We picked up our pace, but I was still feeling good.

Around mile 8, Chris got in a zone and darted ahead. I knew that a big hill was coming up and that we wouldn’t be able to catch up with him on/after that hill, so Tyler and I took some of my PROBAR energy chews (AKA LIFESAVERS!) and sprinted to catch up. That mile was my second fastest mile. (My fastest mile was Mile 13…but we’ll get to that later 😉 ) We got over the hill and, according to MapMyRun, stayed around 9 minute miles or faster the rest of the race.

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JACKIE’S TRAIN usually greeted me around mile 7 or 8 of my training runs… i didn’t reach her until mile 11 on race day.

After that, mile 10 was rough. It was on a section of the course with the most hills. From 11 on, I didn’t know how I was going to finish. I knew I was going to…but I was pretty sure I would need a wheelchair for at least 2 weeks after. I was lucky to have no side cramps, no knee pain, no nothing. But starting around 10 or 11, my feet/toes were killing me and my legs felt like jelly.

There were 5 water/electrolyte stations, and I stopped at the last 3…One of the times I just took whatever liquid they gave me and dumped it over my head. Little did I know, it was electrolytes. Gatorade is so totally the new preferred hair gel of all the cool girls…

Our plan all along was to run together for the majority of the race, but it was every man for himself once we reached the last mile. Knowing that both of my partners were fit dudes upwards of 6 feet tall, I figured my chances of keeping up with them in a full on sprint was slim to none…which made me nervous for Mile 12 to arrive, because I knew we’d be splitting…

I started feeling terrible around mile 11. After having been the smiling face who sang out loud (and even did a little jumping leap to Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ at one point) through most of the race, I had become silent and started taking really deep breaths. I think it was apparent that I was feeling it. Mile 11.5 ish was the point where I felt like I could cry of exhaustion and pain.

Chris (who had already run two 13 milers on the dreadmill) turned to me and told me a few things that I won’t forget: “This is what you trained for!”; “That’s 12! You’ve already ran 12 before, what’s one more?”; and “Finish strong!”

About 30 seconds later, he darted ahead lol…however, his words definitely helped. Also, the fact that he was wearing a bright blue shirt in a sea of green made him easy to chase spot! 😉 About half a mile from the finish line on the Tower Bridge, I saw my dad with his camera and my mom cheering and I couldn’t help but smile and give my mom a huge high five. If Chris got me through 12-12.5, my mom’s super charged high five definitely got me through 12.5-13.1. According to MapMyRun, I ran mile 13 in 8:14. DAMN! No wonder I felt like crap!

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my dad snapped this pic right as i picked up the pace to give my mom a GIANT high five

The finish line was on the 3rd baseline of Raley Field, and I was so excited to finish that I was leaping over orange cones on the side of the dirt path so I could pass people up. I finished, found Chris, grabbed my medal, and turned around to hug Tyler as he finished. WE DID IT!

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Post-Race

Whoever planned this run had a seriously sick sense of humor. We knew we’d finish on the baseball field, but we didn’t realize this meant we were going to have to CLIMB UP THE STAIRS to get to the food/beer/results stations. It took us a while (maybe because I made the boys pose for the above selfie….) but we got there eventually.

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We saw my parents and took some pictures, then found Yvette and Lisa who had come to cheer me on. Then we hightailed it to the concession stands to get our free snack bags that consisted of KIND bars, bananas, goldfish crackers, and Oreos. Everything tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten.

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After checking out our official times and rejoicing in the fact that we all finished under 2 hours (!!!), we were going to check out the Massage Envy station, but realized we weren’t the only ones with that idea, and headed for beer instead.

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Everyone told me what a great sense of accomplishment I would feel after my first half marathon. I knew it was going to be awesome, but nothing could have prepared me for the wide range of emotions I felt all day  Sunday. I have a feeling it will rank up there as a day I will definitely never forget.

I felt pretty weak the hours after the race, probably because I was subsisting on bananas and KIND bars, but once I soaked my legs in Chris’s freezing cold pool and got some food in me at our barbecue, it was smooth sailing from there.

I have [not surprisingly] been super sore the past 2 days. Lower back, hips, quads, shins, calves…all of the muscles!!! I walked to and from work on Monday to loosen everything up, and I’ve been doin alright ever since. I’m going to go for a quick 3-4 mile run this morning and I am excited to pound the pavement again.

After a rough year or two that has been defined by injury, health problems, a bad break up, and losing my job…it feels incredible to know that I really can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me through this journey, dear readers! With how well my first half marathon went, I don’t know how another one could go any better…but if there’s any chance that finishing another will lead to me feeling like I did after this one, then sign. me. UP.

<3

 

Fitness Friday — FINAL Half Marathon Training Update!

It’s here you guys…my race is THIS WEEKEND.

holy shit

CUE MAJOR FREAK OUT

After 14+ weeks of training, buckets of energy supplements and protein powder, hours of knee brace wearing, and many many early mornings…my half marathon is here!

To see why I chose to sign up for a half marathon, click here… and also be sure to check out training updates #1 and #2 and #3!

On Wednesday during my lunch break, I went to pick up my race packet (I knew they’d be slammed later in the week so I went as early as possible), as well as Tyler’s and Chris’s…

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forgot to customize my bib…. #fail

As I picked up our shirts, bibs, shamrock tattoos, and all.the.safety.pins, it really started to hit me. I’m running a HALF MARATHON this weekend.

I’m not going to lie to you guys- I’m really really nervous. I have had crazy dreams every night this week, which I’m convinced are anxiety-fueled.

But as I’ve talked to more friends who have run half marathons, my nerves have been calmed little by little. I know that I’m ready for this. I’ve been training diligently since December, and I’m on track to hit my pace goal. Here’s where I was last time I checked in:

Half marathon progress 2014-02-11

And here is my completed training plan!

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It was so weird only running 2 miles yesterday, you guys. I really wanted to go 3, but I convinced myself to stop at 2 because I knew I would be walking to work and that I had dodgeball later in the evening. Tapering is important!

Thoughts on my Last Weeks:

aches & pains

I’m happy to report that my knee pain has been minimal these last couple of weeks. It gives me a bit of grief from time to time on my shorter runs — probably because I’m running faster and on pavement — but otherwise it’s all good in the hooood. There were a couple of times where I was a little sore on Friday/Saturday or Mon/Tues from dodgeball on Sunday or Thursday evenings, but that’s nothing a little stretching can’t help!

This week, I ran a super speedy 5K (26:57, a new PR!) on Tuesday, skipped my Wednesday weight work out in favor of 45 more minutes of sleep and 8 Minute Abs, and a quick 2 miles yesterday. I’m hoping the extra rest will be a good thing come Sunday morning!

I’m thinking about taking Tyler on a bike ride tomorrow so he can see the course (it’s on a bike trail), but I’ve been reading that vigorous activity is to be avoided the day before the race. Any insight??

lifestyle changes

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I have been consciously trying to put only good things into my body for the past 2 weeks, and I think I’ve done a good job. I ate lunch out again (see bottom left) at a new vegetarian restaurant in town, but chose a grilled cheese with garlic & swiss chard and a side of beans. Protein! Fiber! It could have been worse 😉

There may have been a couple of orders of fries in there (and more than a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella…), but hey, I’m not super woman! Nor do I claim to be. I feel much stronger and healthier knowing that I’m not restricting myself. Plus, lately I’ve been rationalizing any extra food I consume during the day as HALF MARATHON FUEL.

As much as it pains me to not celebrate St Patrick’s day this weekend (my Irish grandma would be ashamed), especially with Tyler coming to town to visit and run the race…Abstention (or at least moderation) is the name of the game today and tomorrow.

I did indulge in some drinks last night after dodgeball because it was the last night of the season and I’m taking next season off- but I am so glad I did, because I had a great time with my friends as always! And I was home in bed before midnight :)

Plus, how could you say no to hanging out at the bar with that adorable minion face?!

race day

We are in Wave #2 starting at 8am on Sunday. Not too early, which is nice! The high temp for the day is going to be 80 degrees (yippee!) but I’m anticipating it will be high 40’s-low 50’s when we run. Regardless, I’m probably going to run in shorts and a tank top because sista gets sweaty!

I think the race is going to be extremely fun, with 13 live bands playing all over the course. So much for that running playlist I made, right? The reason I signed up for a half was in large part due to how much fun I had doing the Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving- it was an extremely popular race with tons of onlookers, participants, people cheering, live music, mimosa stations… I’m expecting this race to be a lot like that 10K. There are 4 waves worth of runners, so it’s going to be a packed course!

Here are some things I’m going to try and remember for race day:

  • Don’t start too fast– this was a problem for me in my 1st 10K because I wanted to pass everyone up
  • Use the aid stations– I’ll also have some PROBAR energy chews, but dehydration is no joke
  • Focus on finishing, not the time– Though my goal is 2:00:00, I know that the real accomplishment is just finishing. I’m also going to have to try not to push myself too hard to race the boys I’m running with, haha.

Since I didn’t customize my bib, I’m also planning on writing things on my body…Possibly some kind of mantra on my hand, maybe my name on my arm/shoulder. We’ll see how I feel on race morning :)

Wish me luck!!!

For those in Sacramento wanting to watch the race, there’s a great page on the Shamrock’n website listing all the best places to spectate. Hope to see you there!

Any last minute advice?

Do you have any good (succinct) workout/running mantras that inspire you?

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Running Edition

It’s time to TREAT YO SELVES, friends!

Treat-Yourself-Tuesday-BadgeEvery Tuesday, my dear friend Becky over at Olives n’ Wine hosts a linkup encouraging bloggers to share in what ways – big or small – they have treated themselves over the past week. I love this idea and think everyone should find at least one way to treat themselves each week!

As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite way to reward myself after a race is by going and getting a pedicure. What’s better than getting a leg massage after running 6.2 miles… amirite?

Well, since I had to go straight to my parents’ house and help start Thanksgiving dinner after my 10K on Turkey Day, I finally found some time to treat myself to a post-race pedi on Friday.

IMG_2553It was much needed, especially with how much I’ve been running lately! I am in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes (hint hint, Christmas present idea!) and my feet have been pretty wrecked.

Some other ways I’ve been treating myself:

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I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year and have been SO impressed by all 3 boxes of cookies I received! My measly cookies seemed so lame in comparison…no worries, I have drowned my cookie-lameness sorrows by eating, um, pretty much every single cookie that I’ve been sent. That’s 36 cookies in about a month. No wonder I’ve gained like 7 pounds…

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I also treated myself to one of my favorite Friday night rituals- a cozy night in with some wine, cheese, crackers and my iPad! I watched NBC’s The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood. Har har. I know people really ragged on Carrie’s performance, but… terrible acting aside, I think she’s amazing. Lovable, beautiful, great voice, great legs (lol 😉 )… And I will never turn down an opportunity to watch The Sound of Music and sing along!

Now…I do love cookies, and it’s no secret I love wine. But I’ve definitely felt like I’ve been overindulging at times lately. What good is it running 3x per week (with the occasional living room ‘weight lifting’ workout) if it just gets canceled out each weekend? I don’t think that’s the best way to treat your body. Especially if you claim to be a healthy living blogger.

In the past year or so, there has definitely been a shift in my blog away from recipes and more toward a log of my workouts and running. Of course, I do still post recipes from time to time (Gorgonzola Turkey Burgers, anyone??) but, as my mom has pointed out several times, “All you talk about is running these days!”

I like to use this blog to keep myself accountable for fitness goals. Because if I announce on the Internet that I’m going to run a 5K this year, and that I’m going to run 25 miles in a month…that means I have to do it, right?

Welp…today is one of those days.

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YEAH. THAT HAPPENED.

I had been on the fence about this decision since my Thanksgiving 10k, but what really did it was attending the California International Marathon this weekend:

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I went for a jog along the last mile or two of the race, and it was extremely inspiring to see all the different kinds of people – different sizes, shapes, age groups – finishing the marathon! It was 20-35 degrees for most of the race as well, which made it all the more impressive. I even saw a 74 year old man finish in less than 4 hours and 30 minutes. Right after that, I texted all my friends who I had told I was thinking about signing up for the half:

textSidenote: I overslept on Sunday morning, so I didn’t get to see her fiancé cross the finish line, but I was super excited to FINALLY meet Erica from Coffee & Quinoa this weekend and celebrate Nate’s 6th marathon with the two of them!

Anyway, I am very excited, but also nervous, to be undergoing this challenge. I am luckily in the best running shape I’ve ever been in, which puts me in a good spot as far as training goes. I think creating a safe training plan is key in treating my body right and making sure it doesn’t rebel against me throughout this process!

I made myself a training plan based on Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon training plan. Instead of running 4x per week and doing cross training on Sunday, I will be running 3x per week, doing upper body weight lifting once, and my “cross training” on Sundays will consist of dodgeball 😉 I also was a little leery of increasing my long run by a whole mile every weekend, so I am only increasing by .75 miles most weeks. However, depending on whether I actually do a 5k and 10k race along the way, I may change that.

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I actually am already on week 2 of the plan, so I’m 1 week ahead of schedule. This extra week is to allow myself at least 1 week to get sick at some point this winter…it’s inevitable! I also gave myself the week of President’s Day weekend off, because I might be traveling at some point that weekend :)

So that’s my big news! I hope you all stick with me to follow along while I train for this race. In March 2013, I ran my first 5K…and in March 2014, I am now signed up to run my first Half Marathon. What a difference a year makes. I am scared, and I actually think there might be a screw loose in my head for wanting to do this to my body…but it’s on the Internet now, so there’s no turning back!!!

How have you been treating yourself this holiday season?

HALF MARATHONERS: Tips and training advice please!!

Weekend in Photos

Hello everyone and happy Thanksgiving week!

Sorry for the brief hiatus…suffice it to say, there have been a lot of changes in my life lately. Luckily for me, said changes have actually resulted in a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. Thanksgiving is coming at a perfect time for me – I feel very fortunate for everything I have right now. And I’ve only got good things coming! How’s that for vague? 😉

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year because Thursday is my dad’s 60th birthday! My mom and I are cooking Thanksgiving dinner for {almost} my dad’s whole side of the family. That’s 14 people… BRING IT! I’m so excited to cook for and be with the family on Thursday! Not to mention I’m doing Run To Feed the Hungry (my second 10K) that morning. Am I overachieving? Maybe… 😉

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On to the weekend! It started early for me when I went to Jamie’s Broadway Grille for lunch on Friday with Dave. I had never even heard of this neighborhood gem, which has been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. We had amaaaaazing French Onion Soup (See above, the photo doesn’t do it justice! It was SOOOO good!) and split a steak sandwich, which was cooked perfectly. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to check out a classic Sacramento spot!

Jamie's Broadway Grille on Urbanspoon

That evening, I watched Catching Fire with Yvette, Lisa & Kristin. No pictures of that…because we were so ENTHRALLED by the movie! It was seriously good! I read all three books and don’t remember being as satisfied and impressed with the first movie. I thought it was excellent all around. Definitely recommend!

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After the movie, we met up with friends to grab drinks. At one point Yvette and I were super awkward and decided to hide beneath our jackets/scarves to avoid being seen by people we knew. Haha. Is anyone else there really weird about running into people they know in public? No? Just me? Ok.

The night ended with the most glorious piece of pizza from Luigi’s. Just look at how adoringly I’m gazing at that thing. Glad Kristin insisted on pizza, because it soaked up the IPA’s I drank and allowed me to wake up the next morning feeling well enough to….

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…run 6 miles! Who am I?! I wanted to get one last really long run in before my 10K on Thursday, and that I did. I have been switching it up lately with my route and running to McKinley Park (~1.5 miles away) instead of Capitol Park (.5 miles away), which has forced me to increase my distance. I’m feeling great going into my 10K, and really hoping I can break 1:00:00!

I’m also only 9.8 miles away from my 40 mile running goal this month, so with a 4 mile run tomorrow and my race, I’ll achieve that goal!

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On Saturday night I stayed in and cuddled up with Love Actually and a cup of tea. It was a much needed relaxation night…just to be met with an epic brunch at Limelight on Sunday morning! You can’t beat $7 bottomless mimosas… Especially when you and your 4 friends are apparently thirsty enough to require the server to just leave the carafe at your table 😉

Also, can I just point out that I finished that entire plate of food? Both habanero-chicken sausages, both eggs, both pieces of toast, and all the potatoes. I pretty much wiped it all clean with the toast. I must have still been hungry after my long run the morning before?! I felt like a bottomless pit!

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The weekend ended with a dodgeball tie (waaah!) and more TV on my iPad. Consider this picture this week’s installment of “reasons why you should be glad you’re not my friend on Snapchat”….

Enjoy your Monday!

What are you contributing to Thanksgiving dinner?

Are you running a Thanksgiving/Turkey Trot race?

Run to Remember 10k Recap!

Well, I did it y’all! I ran a 10k. And I mean ran… I didn’t stop to walk at all during any of those 6.2 miles! Woot!

For various reasons, I didn’t have anyone cheering me on at the actual race (though a few texts and Snapchats throughout made me smile!), so more than ever this run was definitely a mental challenge for me. I am always pep talking myself through long runs… So while it’s all still fresh in my mind, I wanna recap the race mile by mile and let you know what was going through my head 😛

First off, I popped out of bed at 7:45 and headed to the kitchen for my pre-race meal of champions:

Sprouted whole wheat toast + Nutella, and a serving of fitmixer Clean Energy. I almost always have this before my long runs on Saturday mornings, and I have had a lot of success with it. I even take it on Saturday mornings sometimes to avoid hangovers…. #truestory

After getting dressed and trying to figure out how to attach my timer to my Lock Laces (ugh), I headed over to Capitol Mall.

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at the start!

At 9:11am (It was a 9/11 Memorial run), we were off!

Mile 1: Whoooaaaa people get outta my way! Alright. Passed all the slowpokes…now who should I pace myself with? I need to keep it slow. That girl looks like the same general size/athleticness as me…Hmmmmm….But what if she’s running the 5k? She’ll be going too fast…It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Where are the 10k runners??

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still smiling because i didn’t know what laid ahead…..

Mile 2: Whoops, my split for the first mile was 9:27. (I usually aim for 10 minute miles for my first couple) Cool your jets Katie!!! You’ll regret it come mile 4! There have already been like 2-3 hills…I hope there aren’t many more. I can’t believe I don’t have a sidecramp!

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view right after the 3 mile mark

Mile 3: (This is where it started getting tough. A lot of the course looped through the same spots more than once, so we went back over the hills from earlier.. And then some) WHAT. THE. HELL. Halfway through, Katie, HALFWAY THROUGH. Mile 2 was slightly slower than mile 1, might as well just keep that pace now. Even though your legs are already feeling like jello…

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going over the Tower Bridge into West Sacramento at the beginning of mile 3

Mile 4: Alright, you slowed down to a 10 minute mile for that last one, but you’ve gotta step it up here!! Actually get some damn water at the 4.5 mile mark so you don’t crap out like you did in Manteca last weekend! So. Many. HILLLLLS. You’re heading back over the bridge into downtown soon, that’s a good sign.

Mile 5: The water helped. Feelin’ good now… running through the flat, shady mall has never felt so good.

Mile 6.2: Just gotta finish strong. But wheeeereeee is this damn finish line?! We better not be making a full loop here… please, I swear to Buddha the finish line better be right there when we turn onto 4th Street….

it was!

FINISH!

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Chip time: 1:02:27

In my 20-29 age group, I finished 21st. Not too shabby.

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Unfortunately, my goal was to finish in 1:00:00, so I didn’t quite get there. This is because of several factors… First off, my first 2 miles were waaayyy too fast. I felt like I was going slowly, but I started at a pace that was definitely too fast to maintain. Secondly, I definitely should have done some of my long training runs on the actual course. I had no idea how many hills there would be! We went over several bridges (that are somewhat elevated), past Old Sacramento where the street dips down, and along the River Walk, which is down along the river below the sidewalk/street level. My legs were definitely not happy about the hills!

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they were, however, happy about free food!

Regardless of my time, I feel great for finishing and I can’t believe I can now say that I’ve run 6 miles. Just 3 months ago I NEVER thought I’d pass the 5K/3 mile mark…It’s just a testament to how practice and planning can help you achieve more than you’d ever expect!

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And for all my hard work, I decided it was definitely necessary to #treatyoself (myself), and got a luxury pedicure! Win. Sorry, bank account.

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Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Go 49ers :)

Fitness Friday – 10K Edition!

Three posts in 1 week, look at me go!

I’ve VERY excited about what I’m sharing today! It’s been in the making for a while and a little over a week ago I finally made the plunge and registered…

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For my first 10K!

At the beginning of this year, I set a few fitness goals for myself. They were pretty simple ones, like registering to run a 5K and running 25 miles in one month. I ran my first 5K in March, and as long as I run 3.5+ miles tomorrow, my second goal will be realized!

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Kinda funny that I’ve only gone for 6 runs this month and I’m set to have my best mileage ever!

As some of you know, my boyfriend and I broke up a little over two months ago.  Soon after, I suppose in what can be considered a coping mechanism, I began making a habit of going on long Saturday morning runs followed by a trip to the Farmer’s Market. For the last 3 years, I’ve pretty much regularly run 2-3 miles, only exceeding 3 miles a handful of times…But when I started running on Saturday mornings, I realized I could extend that distance, since I wasn’t held back by time like I usually am when I go for runs on my lunch break.

On August 1st, my furthest ever run was 3.4 miles. I was already contemplating running the 10k, but wanted to play it by ear…so I started running. But what started off as “let’s see if I can run 3.4 again” turned into one of my best runs ever…..

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Not just in the distance, but check out my split times! I have been doing much better at pacing myself for my first mile and saving my energy for the end. I think that has been key in increasing my distance.

After this run, I went to New York for a week and decided to see how my workouts went there before making a decision about the 10K. I tried to work out when I was there and stayed somewhat active…and when I came back, I kept up with the long Saturday morning runs:

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I decided to go for it and create a loose training plan for the 10K on September 8th. Because I decided to register only 3 weeks before the race, I knew I’d have a challenge ahead of me, increasing from 4 miles to 6.2 miles in such a short amount of time. My training schedule looked something like this:

Week 1: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 4.75 mi run on Saturday

Week 2: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 5.25 mi run on Saturday

Week 3: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 6.2 mi run on Sunday

Seems kind of quick, right? I asked a few friends, who all assured me I can totally do it. So I’m doin it!

Of course, I haven’t really stuck with my plan… instead of two short runs during the week, I’ve just been running twice a week and increasing my mileage by at least .25 every time I run. I went from 4 miles to 4.85 over the course of a week! I’ve also been keeping my pace very slow, I usually average slower than 9:30 min miles.

In addition to my runs, I’ve been keeping up with “cross training” AKA sorority girl elliptical + abs workouts. I also played kickball with my cast. I know I know, bad Katie…I didn’t actually play in the field, I just kicked and ran! I think sprinting around the bases has actually improved my running form :-)

snapkickball

The Straw-ber-ritas help too :)

By the way, my cast came off on Wednesday and my orthopedist said that my bone healed beautifully!!! I was extremely nervous, given my history of low bone density and how long it took last year’s break to heal. But I am extremely thankful that my calcium regimen served me well this time around! With the help of the above thumb brace, I may have even played dodgeball last night….shhh don’t tell my doctor 😉

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Last summer, I really found myself in a funk when I broke my hand. This time around, without that boyfriend support system, I was really worried that would happen again…but thanks to a consistent work out “regimen” I stayed the same happy and perky Katie that I usually am. Yay exercise!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! If you have Monday off like me, I’m sure it will be a good one :)

What’s the longest race you’ve done? Did you follow a training plan?

Do you find that your happiness + activity level are linked?

Workouts Lately: An Unattainable Goal?

Here’s my long awaited jogging update that I think I’ve referred to a few times. Tune in and leave feedback – I need your help!

So, when I broke my hand in June, I kind of fell off the workout wagon.

Let me preface this all by saying I don’t enjoy running. I am that person who says “OK, time to go for a jog!” then spends 30 minutes cleaning my room, or scrubbing dishes…anything to procrastinate running. When I moved home after graduating in 2010, I decided I wanted to get in better shape – and was bored out of my mind, being unemployed and all – so I started running to an elementary school every morning. It was .9 miles each way, and once I got there I would stop, take a break, drink some water, and come back. Within a month or two, I could run all the way around the school and back (just over two miles) without stopping. Since then, I’ve been jogging at least 2 miles 2-3 times per week. I still hate it every time, but I always feel fantastic afterward, and am convinced it has played a huge role in my overall health and weight loss since 2010.

ANYWAY, back to this year. In April, I was at the peak of my running game. I was jogging three times per week and playing dodgeball on Wednesdays (a moderately good workout, but it was usually canceled out by at least 2 drinks at the bar afterward, haha). I also magically pushed through the 3 mile threshold that I never thought I would, and was running at least 2.5 miles most of the time.

In May, I wasn’t as great about running three times per week, but I moved into my apartment downtown that month, and thus started walking to and from work several days a week, so my fitness wasn’t compromised. I still stayed around the 2.5 mile range.

Then, my injury and summer weather happened. Because of the heat, I only ran 5 times in June (about once a week), plus, dodgeball twice per week. On the evening of June 28th, I broke my hand playing dodgeball. During the 10 weeks I had my cast, and then my splint, (so, during the entire months of July and August, plus a couple of weeks) I only jogged twice.

I wasn’t quite feeling confident enough to get back on the horse in September. It was still hot, and I was still wearing my splint most of the time, so I stuck to the elliptical. I ran three times in September, about two miles each time.

In the middle of October, I started getting back on track for real.

(Keep in mind that on weeks I jogged less than twice, I was probably working out on the elliptical, and doing abs & weight machines instead)

Through most of October, I was running at a 10 minute/mile pace, which is a fair amount slower than in April/May. But last Monday, I finally pushed myself to run 2.5 miles again, and trimmed a minute off my time, to boot! (My GPS tracking app is a bit off, and when I edited the route online to reflect what I had actually ran, it came out as 2.47 instead)

Since then (for the past week and a half), I’ve been steadily running 2.5 miles.

Now here’s my question for all you runners out there…

How likely is it that I will be able to run a 5K on Thanksgiving?

Unfortunately, our upcoming vacation kind of puts a wrench in things (plus, I forgot my running shoes on Monday so I can’t stick to my usual MWF schedule this week)…I think its a bit of a stretch to aim for 3.1 miles by November 22nd. Why must Thanksgiving be so early this year?! Gah.

I’m not feeling very confident that I’ll be up to 3 miles by Thanksgiving week, but I definitely want to run a 5K soon. Maybe the Fleet Feet Free Holiday Classic on December 16th? That sounds more attainable…

As for Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving, maybe T-Man and I can just run-walk our way through it together! (he’s not much of a runner)

Have you ran races before? How long did you train for it/them?

also,

What tracking app do you use on your runs? I use MapMyRun, but the GPS tracker isn’t always accurate…