January: Bodies In Motion and the Star Wars Challenge

I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like December was like a week ago and now it’s mid February. At this rate it’s going to be Halloween by next Tuesday. Maybe I should start looking at costumes. Wait, is that even an option at this point? Not going to think about it. Have I confused you yet?

Speaking of confusing our weather is all kinds of backwards right now. It’s a balmy 85 degrees on this glorious winter day. I know, rough. How ever do we Southern Californians survive? Truth be told it is pretty brutal. Not the sunny perfection, but the lack of the wet stuff. We need rain. A lot of it. Stat.

Since it feels like August, let’s talk about January, shall we?

On January 11th my sister and I attended the Bodies in Motion event hosted by Lululemon Athletica La Jolla. This fun running/yoga shindig was limited to 150 people and all money raised went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). If you don’t know anything about this organization get yourself educated stat. They do great things for great people.

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The day started at the entrance to Petco Park. We were told we were going to run 3 miles to a secret location where we would then participate in a 45 min yoga practice followed by a healthy happy hour. Sound fun? It was. Even in the rain (Pretty sure that was the last time we saw water fall from the sky).

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We about a mile around the embarcadero and then looped back past the ballpark and ended up at

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Mission Brewery.

So.rad.

Nuun was on site along with Suja and The Perfect Bar. Rain be darned, we made it to awesome town in one piece.

Our mats were all laid out (hello new friends!) and we did about 30 minutes of power yoga and ended with a nice, 15 minute relaxing cool down. It was a lot of fun…even if I did accidentally kick the guy behind me in the head. Still sorry about that Ryan!

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Once all was said and done the brewery was open for drinks and I believe food trucks were outside (It was announced but I never checked). My sis and I stayed around for about an hour just chatting and enjoying the moment.

Best event yet put on by Lulu in San Diego. Great way to engage in the community, sweat and raise money for a fantastic organization. I hope they do more of these in the future (hint hint North County location). I’ll be at every single one.

The following weekend I participated in the inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge. It consisted of a 10k on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday.

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Per the usual the expo was totally out of control. The outside floor with the usual vendors was fine, nothing super awesome to report. It’s getting in to actually look at the race stuff that is impossible. Well, not totally if you are cool waiting in a 2 hour line. I’m not cool with it and there is nothing I need that bad so I skipped it. Again. So no photos. so sorry.

10K:

Course was fast and full of characters. I had decided when I got there that I was just going to run by feel and if I could PR I would go for it.

After a fun intro the race started at 5:30 a.m. sharp. As you can imagine it was dark the entire race making my Garmin useless (too lazy to try to turn the back light on).

I remember crossing the 5k mark in 22:XX and thought if I ran hard I could PR. There was a man just ahead of me and I decided to make him my rabbit.

I knew I was speeding up but I didn’t know by how much until well after the race. I crossed the finish line at 44:55, a new PR. When I looked at my splits my first 5k average was 7:22, second was 7:07. Negative split. Average pace 7:13. I like running in the dark; no watch, no pace stalking, just running.

I haven’t done a lick of speed work (don’t hurt me for saying that) so this was all guts and a darn good base. If I would just suck it up and get back to incorporating repeats I may be able to accomplish some really fast times. Maybe a goal for year 36? We shall see.

Half Marathon:

I almost didn’t run it. Actually, I tried to miss it but it didn’t work out. My husband made sure I got out of bed. Seriously, he has some kind of internal race alarm (I was thankful HERE) and there was no way he was letting me not go.

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After spending the entire day at the pool post the 10k I just didn’t feel like running. I moved to the back of corral A and went out easy and kept the pace that way for all 13.1. It was awesome. The course was great (best one yet Disney, don’t change it) and the weather was perfect. The miles ticked away quickly and it overall was just a really nice run. One of those runs that make you love the sport. I crossed the finish at 1:48:30 (or close to it) and went directly to Starbucks for coffee.

I like coffee after running. Unless it’s hot outside. Then I love chocolate milk or pineapple coconut water. I’m all over the board.

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That was January. Pretty rockin’ month. I didn’t have a single PR in 2014 (deservingly so as I didn’t put in the work) so this just felt good. Like I got my mojo back. Maybe.

I made a last-minute decision to run the Cal 10/20 race this weekend. 10 miles of beauty. Can’t wait.

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Cabo for Thanksgiving, Christmas and racing

This year for Christmas my parents gave us our gift a little early. We were all gifted a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo. And it was AWESOME.

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We were there for 6 days and it was seriously the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Seriously. I just reflected on all 35 Turkey Days and this one takes the cake. No work, no phones just fun.

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It was around 80 degrees the entire week so we spent A LOT of time poolside.

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Cannonball!

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During the last few days the kids wanted to attend “kids club” at the resort which gave us a few hours to explore

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And ride sea-doos!

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View before a morning run

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Most importantly we all got to spend a week together with no distractions. That was the best part of all.

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Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you so very much.

And now we have just a few weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be ringing in 2014. We will be staying home (hooray!) and my FIL “Pops” will be staying at our house to celebrate. We are so glad that he will be here with us. It’s our first Christmas without Mama Kay and it’s going to be tough.

I will be running the inaugural SD Holiday Half (which is close to a sell out so register now if you want to run) while he is here and if LD can get everyone out of the house it will be Pop’s first time to see me run. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’ll get it done.

Speaking of racing, here is what I am registered for in 2014

January: Carlsbad Half

Feb: SD 10/20

April: Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon

November: New York Marathon

I will add some shorter races in if I am up to it. It still blows my mind that I BQ’d and got into NY. It’s going to be one heck of a year…now if I could just get motivated to train.

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1. What did you do for Turkey Day?

2. Any plans for Christmas?

3. Races?!

Back from my blogging hiatus

My last blog post was 3 days before I started my new job. 3 days before my world as I knew it would turn into total chaos. 12 hours days. Long commutes. Inundated. Missing my family. Missing “normal” life. Missing…balance.

Then I took off for SF got to see my BFFL.

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And  while I was there I ran this race

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It was awesome. It was the first time I ran with a pace group and talked to people for the entire 1:40.

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And then the kids started school and we had to try to find “balance” again. It’s been hectic. We still haven’t totally figured out our schedule but we’re getting there.

Just a few days after school started my BFFs (and their families) came to the rescue and we had a super fun weekend together. Best friends are like angels. Without wings. They restore balance with lots of love and much needed laughter!

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And I ran a few more races

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And had fun doing them.

But since then it’s been all business

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My coach is a beast!
My coach is a beast!

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Long Beach is in 1 1/2 weeks. It’s my brother’s first marathon. And we’re running it together.

That’s right.

Look out world. There is going to be a whole lot of sexy on the race course.

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And then there will be some downtime. Yoga has been back in full force. I need it. I have 2 big races coming up in April.

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Boston is my A race.  I still can’t believe I’m in. I’M IN! Big Sur is my be one with nature race. I cannot freaking wait.

I’m going to need lots of mental and physical strength. It’s going to be tough. There will be lots of ups and downs and, therefore, lots of blog talk. That’s right. I’m back people. Lots of rad stuff is in store. Hope you’re ready.

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Why I Strength Train (and you should too)

If you saw my tweet last Sunday you already know that my brother celebrated a running milestone. He ran 12 miles without walking. And he did it well under 2 hours with me chatting his ear off. That’s huge! So very proud of him. We are just a few weeks away from hitting his PDR (personal distance record) and before we know it he will be running 26.2 miles. You know just a few years ago he was running a 12:30 pace..but I’ll let him share his story with you as soon as he is ready.

joeruns

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Strength Training

I haven’t talked about strength training in a while. Truth is that I had to reduce my lifting/squatting/get strong days during my Ojai training cycle due to time constraints. Now that I have a little downtime before Boston madness begins it’s back to focusing on getting and remaining strong.

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Hardcore

Strength training is one of the single most important aspects of my marathon (and any other distance) training. I injure easily and, as many of you know, I had several frustrating training cycles. I learned to depend on strength workouts to keep my body strong and ready to run. The result? I’ve remained injury free and have seen improved finish times.

Today I want to share a workout (or two) and encourage you to give it a try. Building a stronger core (and booty) will help support the muscles you use to propel you off of the ground. If you incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan you will become a more efficient runner. Want to get faster? Strength train. Want to remain injury free? Get strong.

A few years ago I posted about my medicine ball and core workout. Now let’s get into a few circuits.

Workout #1 Total Body Workout : 3 rounds with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

Squats (1 min)

Push ups (1 min)

Bicycle Crunches (1 min)

Mountain Climbers (1 min)

Hip Raises (1 min)

Plank (1 min)

Weighted Twist (I use a medicine ball or kettle bell) (1 min)

Donkey Kicks (1 min)

The above circuit can be done using only body weight. In lieu of a weighted twist you can sit on the floor in a c-position and do rotating knee touches. Your obliques will thank you!

 Workout #2 Glutes (Remember operation get my booty better?) This takes me 20 minutes or so and is courtesy of WHM.

Click here to review a glute circuit I use.

I continue to practice yoga (love!) and have also started to incorporate insanity workouts in my routine. I actually like them a lot more than I thought I would.  A spot in my garage is being turned into a little home gym/workout space since I am heading back to work next week. Yup, BCOD workouts (not just runs) will be happening. I will also be back to tweeting about office workouts! Yup, the office push up, lunge and desk dip challenges will be back in full effect.

As I come across workouts I like I usually put together a routine and can share here if it wil help some of you out. I also like to take workout from WHM/MH and load them onto my iPod and take them to the gym with me. This is a great option for those of you who are like me and need a set workout.

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Do you strength train? Why or why not?

~ I used to be intimidated but after I switched gyms a few years ago my fear went away 🙂

4th of July 15k and a bunch of other stuff

Last week I ran the Coronado 15k for my 3rd consecutive year. I was really excited for this race as I really felt like I was ready to easily break 1:10. Yeah it’s always humid but the course is flat as a pancake. Running 7:20’s should feel easyish compared to the constant hills I am used it. Plus, I was around 1:09 at the 15k point at RNR and that was with some uphill. This should be a big PR.

Should have been.

It wasn’t. It was actually brutally hard.

I was up a 4 a.m. with a headache the size of Texas. Made my way down to the bay by 5:4o a.m. and battled all of San Diego for a parking spot. Finally got situated 1.5 miles away and ran to the start. I never complain about a warm up 🙂

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The race was supposed to start at 7 but didn’t end up starting until 7:30. As soon as the gun went off I just couldn’t find a groove. I went out way fast. At the .75 mark I was at a 6:55. I put on the breaks and got myself down to 7:15ish but just felt off. Every step was a struggle.

Each mile I got slower and slower and felt worse and worse. I haven’t felt this bad during a race in a long time so I just kept trying to remind myself that running is fun. It didn’t feel fun but sometimes we can trick our minds. I talked to a few people around me and just kept hoping to see that finish sign.

Finally, mile marker 8 appeared and I knew I could hang on for another 1.3

I crossed the finish line in 1:10:32 (a slight PR, 4th in my age) and then got backed up in the marked off finish corral line not realizing that the timing mat was in the middle of a sea of people. I had never seen that before. This race still collects the paper hang tags (from the bottom of the bib) so there is always a back up at the finish. By the time I actually got across the timing mat I think I ended up with an official time of 1:10:38? Times are still unofficial. I wonder how many people were mad about that? Not a big deal but that could send some serious competitors right over the edge lol!

Runners battling to see their finish time
Runners battling to see their finish time

I was so happy to be done. 9.3 miles felt like 30 that day. At least the view was pretty and I got to sport my Red, White and Blue!

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I made the 1.5 mile jog back to the car. I knew the parade was getting ready to start so I needed to get off of the island ASAP if I planned on spending time with my family that day!

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On my way home my headache came back with a vengeance. No matter how much I drank I felt thirsty…and hungry…and miserable.

I sucked it up and got myself together for a family cook out but should have known that head cold 2013 was coming on. Such a bummer because I love the 4th of July!

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I took the 2 days following the race off to just reset and get better. It felt so good to just let myself recover.

The following Sunday I got back on the road with my brother. We ran 11 sweaty miles and celebrated yet another week of 26.2 training.

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He is crushing his training plan. I should ask him to write a guest post on his past race experience, weight loss and his road to 26.2. He has an incredible story y’all.

What do ya think Joe? Yes? No? Maybe?!?!

Next race is coming up on August 4th. I am running the SF Giants Half and CANNOT WAIT!!! I’m bringing the eye black back. Hey, you can take the girl out of NorCal, but you can’t take the NorCal out of the girl. Even LD is running. I can’t wait to be “home!”

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Life Stuff

I officially accepted a new job and start on July 22nd. I am nervous, excited and well, I don’t know. Indifferent maybe? This opportunity fell into my lap and I feel very lucky so maybe it’s just nerves. Or maybe it’s because I worked for my last company for so long and change is scary. I didn’t look for this job, it found me. When opportunity knocks I have learned to open the door and take a chance.

Better go dig out the high heels. Wish me luck!

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Have you transitioned to a new job? Was it difficult?

Anyone else race during the past few weeks? I need reports people!

Next up…strength training and how it helps a runner out.

Why hello there!

Is it really almost July?! This is insane. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my BQ and now it’s time for fireworks. 2013 is literally going by in a blink. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

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My big man graduated Kindergarten. I was so glad that I got to volunteer during his last week of school!

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Mini me moved out of the “little kid class” and will officially start Pre-K this fall. So we had a girls day at Disney to celebrate. Bring on the cotton candy…and coffee…

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California Adventure earned my love ever since they opened Starbucks.

My FIL came for a visit! It was so good to have him here. We hadn’t seen him since Mama Kay passed so it was NEEDED.

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This is my first summer home with the kids. Man, it is so much fun! I am bummed that I missed out getting to do this when they were babies, but I feel so lucky that I am getting to do it now. Focusing on the moment and enjoying it.

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I started training with my brother who will be running his first marathon at Long Beach in October. He has finished 2 half marathons but since then has lost more than 80lbs! YES 80!

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Isn’t that incredible? We will be getting into double digits this weekend and I’m sure he is REALLY looking forward to me yapping his ears off for hours on end. What?? Good convo makes time fly.

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This was the view during a sunrise run this week. Stunning. This is one of the many reasons I love BCOD runs. So quiet and so beautiful.

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I’ve gotten back to including strength training in my weekly routine. While I never totally cut it out I did have to scale back during marathon training due to time constraints. It feels so good to feel strong again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I love to hashtag #dowork. What you put into it is what you will get out. Keep a log.When things aren’t going the way you want them to look back at your training and see where you need to adjust.

I am running a 15k on the 4th of July (one of my favorite races) and then will have a month off until the Giant Half. Pretty excited for that race. I am bringing the eye black back. Oh yes, it’s happening.

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What are your plans for the 4th? Anyone else running?

– I will definitely be sporting the Red, While and Blue!

Ahhh one last thing before I take off.  I want to leave you with this quote from my pastor. It really hit home for me and as we head into the second half of the year I want to encourage you all take a moment to reflect. Remember what’s important- it will make each day a whole lot easier 🙂

“It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you DO with what you have…What you do with a little is what you will do with a lot…but don’t get so focused on the future that you miss out on the moment” – pastor Matthew Schlesinger

WORD.

Expoing

RNR Expos are pretty darn big. So big that the best place to hold SD’s is downtown at the convention center.

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Beings that San Diego draws 30,000 runners plus spectators I went yesterday to try to beat the crowd. To my surprise when I walked inside the wait to get in was 10 minutes!

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I don’t think I have ever seen people line up to get into an expo. Once the doors opened it was quick moving and I picked up my bib and swag bag in no time.

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It is awesome that RNR is showing support for Run Now! If you have not heard about the countrywide race and fundraiser for Boston go check it out at RunNow.com.

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The rest of the expo was filled with vendors handing out everything from gels to snap peas to organic bread. Sometimes Expos are like Costco for runners.

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My favorite

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So creative.

I zipped my way through and thought overall the expo was well organized and had a lot more giveaways than the previous years.

If you are headed there today you will have a few options as far as parking is concerned:

*If you are staying at a downtown hotel walk. Most hotels are within close proximity- don’t let maps fool you. Don’t move your car from your hotel parking garage.

*Parking at the convention center is $10. If you are into convenience and don’t have patience this is your best option.

*Metered street parking. If you take Island St. North past the stadium you might find more spots. The closer you try to park the harder it will be.

*Public Lots. You may be able to find a $5 lot on 7th or 9th and Broadway. Sometimes you have a drive around to find the best deal.

Keep in mind the Padres are in town. The game tonight is at 7:10 so the earlier you go the better.

If you still haven’t registered it’s not too late!

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See you tomorrow at the start line!

Time To Rock N Roll, #EndlessSummer

I’d never thought I’d run this race again. After dealing with horrible logistics in 2010 and again in 2011 I swore I was done with San Diego Rock N’ Roll. I hated running on the 163 and the finish at Sea World was miserable. I do not exaggerate. It’s not fun trying to get out of that place when 30,000 other people are trying to do the same thing.

And then they changed the course.

And I was tempted.

I knew I was running Ojai so I hesitated.

And then I was offered an opportunity to run it. Done. Challenge accepted.

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The race is this Sunday, June 2nd. Registration is still available at the Expo today and tomorrow. I believe the half is now $165, Full $175 and Relay $195. I heard Jamba Juice is handing out smoothies at the finish so if that doesn’t get ya maybe the course will.

The half course looks to be fast (no freeway running, YES!):

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The full offers the challenge of getting over the hill at mile 21 and then it’s all downhill :

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Both courses finish downtown next to Petco Park. If you haven’t had the chance to hang out downtown SD it’s pretty darn nice.

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Bonus? Padres are in town all weekend so you can hit up a game while you’re here. Tickets are cheap. CHEAP.

view from the cheap seats
view from the cheap seats

My only concern is getting to the start. Options are limited and with the early start time of 6 am, getting to SD at the BCOD is pretty much the only option. There is parking available downtown but the walk to the start is all uphill. Not ideal right before a race. What to do, what to do. Fingers crossed that public transportation is going to be ready.

I am really hoping that the changes to the race are going to be for the better. If you are in town this weekend come join me before sunrise for a little 13.1 mile jog through my old neighborhood.

What?

You didn’t think I was going to run back to back fulls did you? Come on, I’m still celebrating my 3:3o!!