BlissSugarSweatMagic

running, working, momming life

This is it!

I came back from my shin recovery week pretty well. I feel good but have been taking it easy for all of my runs since. Tomorrow is the big day. I have a base, stretch and reach goals set out for myself:

Base – PR without puking
Stretch – 31:59 without puking
Reach – 29:59 (as much as I hate puking I would sacrifice a dry heave for this one).

Up until my shin started acting up, I had been training for 31:59. My workouts were pretty successful and everything pointed to me reaching my goal time. In my final week of hard training I had to sacrifice a long run an easy run and a tempo run for spin classes. That sucked. But at least I didn’t sit on the couch and my shin seems to have healed up. What do you think? Will I make my time goal?

Wish me luck!

What are your goals for your next race?

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Trying Again

This is it. I took almost a week off to help my shin heal and I am about to head back out again. I picked out an exceptionally cute outfit so even if the run sucks, at least I will still look good. Wish me luck!

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A real pain in the shin

I am doing the delicate dance around injury right now. I have had shin pain since after my speed work last week (which rocked, by the way) I took it easy for a few days and then did my 6 mile hilly run on Saturday and realized halfway through that it was not the best idea. I have been taking it easy this week. Spinning yesterday, real easy run today and I think it feels better but i am so worried about my LR.

I was thinking about running on the bunny path tomorrow or Friday and then maybe cutting back to 5 miles on Saturday. My race is 2 weeks from today and I feel fit but would love another week of good training. WWYD?

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When an easy 3 really is

I have them on my schedule almost every Tuesday and Thursday, an easy 3 mile run. And while the pace is easy, generally, the effort is anything but. I almost always do these runs in the afternoon when the day is hotter, windier and the level of perceived exertion is usually higher. But there are some days when I walk out the door and something magical happens. The true easy 3! It invigorates rather than exhausts and makes me feel like I can face my evening with the kids with gusto, perhaps even tackle a chore or two. I live for these runs.

distance – 3.02 miles
time – 38:39
pace – 12:48

perfect!

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Would you be my friend IRL?

I have a group of on-line mother runner friends whom I LOVE! They have inspired me, supported me and are there for me everyday! Lately I have been wondering, would they be my friends IRL? I ask this because when I first joined a local track group there was a girl whom I chatted with before the workout. I told her I had never done a track workout before and that I was pretty much a running newbie. She brushed it off saying I would get stronger in no time.

The workout started and we all filed into our positions, mine of course was with the older ladies, as I had expected. The B group but more like the back of the B group. The A group was an amazing group of athletes. Seemingly very experienced and very fit.

It wasn’t until the end of the workout that I realized that my chatting buddy from an hour before (who was solidly in the A group) had no interest in being my friend, she never spoke to me again. I wondered if we had time traveled back to high school somehow but nope, there it was, 2010.

So, back to my on-line friends. We have established relationships that are about much more than running and while I am still slower than most of them, I am committed to my training. They know that I am also a working mom and wife, and I deal with the same struggles as they do. So yes, they would be my friends in real life.

I am trying to teach myself a lesson in this. Extend friendship to everyone regardless of their talents and cultivate it based on character. In the end, aren’t good friends worth more than status anyway?

Have you ever been shunned due to a lack of talent? Have you shunned someone else?

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National Running Day Celebration! 6×400!!!

2:28, 2:32, 2:25, 2:26, 2:35, 2:27. Yup, I killed it! It would only have been awesomer if they were negative splits.

8 on tap in 2 weeks. My goal is to keep all of them at 2:30 or below for a sub 32 5k goal. Most of the sub 30 5k training plans call for 400s in the 2:15 to 2:20 range but I will save that torture for the training leading up to my 5k in November.

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Hilly is the New Awesome!

Back when I first started cycling, I hired a coach. She was a natural climber and most of her other clients were as well. And then there was me. I told her that I could not climb but I think she thought I was embellishing. She invited me to her morning hill ride and again I told her that I could not climb. It wasn’t until we got out on the 3 bitches at the crack of dawn that she believed me. I could see by the look on her face that she had no idea what to do with me. She was turning all of her other climbing goddesses into road racers. I was a real piece of work.

Fast forward a few months to the time I finally ventured out to the Santa Monica mountains on my steed. Oh my goodness did that hurt! I had never been left so beaten down by a bike ride before. I was supposed to be enjoying this after all. It took me a few months but the hills and I, we made an agreement. I would respect them and they would allow me to get out alive. It was a good relationship, one that blossomed into a friendship and then a deep love affair. Eventually, my favorite ride became Fernwood Canyon. Over the next 2 years I would climb Fernwood umpteen times. I would come to know it like the back of my hand. Eventually I realized why it was that I loved the big climbs so much. It wasn’t because I was good at it or even that I was accomplishing something huge but rather, it was because when you decided to do a group ride on big climbs, everyone was allowed to go at their own pace. You had people waiting for you at the top who had your back in a pinch but you were under no obligation to keep up with them.

This is one thing that would allow me to segue into running. It is solo. I don’t have to keep up with anyone.

I mentioned in my OC race report that the hills killed. The 5k I am doing in July, while it could not be classified as hilly, there are a few little inclines in the last mile that have the potential to completely blow my time. I have to train on hills.

Last week I did 5 hilly miles in Palos Verdes. I would say that next to my half marathon, it was my first really hilly run. You know what? I killed it! I wasn’t super fast or anything but I did it, the entire run, a nice respectable long run pace. And I felt amazing when it was over.

This week, I was a little worried. Was last week a fluke? Would I be humbled by the hilly route I had mapped out? NOPE!!! It was another amazing run, this time 6 miles. And next week will be 7. I had tried to run in PV a few times before and to be honest, I just wasn’t ready. I really thought it was because I could not climb but now I realize it was because I just didn’t have the confidence and the endurance that I gained while training for my half. Running for 2.5 hours on a Saturday morning changes you as a person. It teaches you what incredible things you are capable of.

So of course, I am already planning my training for next year’s OC half marathon. I will be doing my long runs in PV. Does a 12 mile hilly run scare me? You betcha. But no more than the 12 mile flat one did when it was uncharted territory. I will love those hills and they will love me. Together we will be awesome.

What training runs intimidate you? Are you a natural climber? If so, how do you challenge yourself?

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A Natural

I feel like I have been physically recovered from my first half marathon for a few days now but today, for the first time, I feel emotionally recovered as well. The event wasn’t taumatic or anything, I just needed distance from, well, distance. For the past 2 weeks, I could not even dream of HAVING to do a run, especially a long one. But that was my plan.

Today, things are different. I have begun planning out my training for my next race. It is a 5k on the 4th of July. I have never really trained for a 5k. I always make sure I have a decent amount of fitness going in but this time, that is not enough. I now know how it feels to follow a training plan. To rush home at the end of a crazy day at work to get my tempo run in. To know that I have to fuel up on Friday night becuase I will be running 10 miles on Saturday morning and to drag myself out to the treadmill after the kids went to bed becuase every other second of my day was spoken for. And you know what? I loved every minute of it.

I loved the science of it, the exactness of it. I loved that I had a certain number of miles that I needed to run and a pace at which to run them. Of course, stuff happens. Illness, injuries…There are sometimes good reasons to miss a run but over my 14 week training cycle, I have learned to trust myself enough to decide when missing a run was appropriate and when to just shut my brain off and do it. I had rules to follow, not just for the plan but ones that told me when to ditch a run for the greater good.

I am not a gifted runner, that is no secret. But I am a natural at coming up with a goal, figuring out a plan of attack and following through. So instead of self depricating when I get passed on a run by a little old lady, I say to myself ‘yes, you ARE a natural’

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Orange County Half Marathon Race Report

The day started very earlier, with a 6:15 start time, I had set my alarm for 5:00am and asked Paul to set his at 5:05am just in case. I woke up feeling excited and happy. I didn’t really feel nervous at all. I had done my training and it was all going to unfold on the course.

We got to the start at about 5:45 and it was mobbed! The marathoners had already gone off but still the bathroom lines were extremely long. I didn’t have to go but decided not to tempt fate and queued up. I heard the national anthem while I was about half way through the line but I was in corral D and they were letting them go about every 3 minutes. Besides, the 2:45 pacer was right behind me.

I got to my corral with a few minutes to spare. At this point I had to make my final decision of which pace group I was going to go with. My goal was between 2:35 and 2:45 but I would have been ok with anything under 2:50. I decided on 2:40, that would allow me some room to drop back if I needed to and still finish within my goal. As soon as the gun went off, I found a cute little girl, all decked out in Lulu, to run next too. I kept my eye on her and in a few minutes I noticed she was watching out for me too. I immediately knew that we would finish the race together. The course was very slightly uphill for the first 0.5 miles. I was starting to wonder if I was going to be able to stick with the pace group, they were going faster than an even split pace. Once the course finally started to trend downward, the pace got a little bit faster but at that point it felt fine, good even. I was happy and comfortable for the next few miles. My Pandora was kicking ass!!! It was set to mix between Linkin Park, Rihanna and Moby. It was heavy on the Moby which suited me just fine.

We started to encounter regular rolling hills around mile 3.5, that is when all hell broke loose. I don’t want to say that the course was hilly, anyone else who ran it would laugh at me but there was not a single flat spot on the rest of the course. Redondo Beach, where I train, is pancake flat. This started to take it’s toll around mile 4.5. I was having trouble taking my gels. I only had taken a half and while I felt like I needed it, my stomach was not accommodating at all. I was just barely hanging on to the 2:40 pace group and then we encountered a decent hill. At that moment, I took a drink and dropped my water bottle. Bye-bye 2:40 pace group. I was ok with it but very sad that I had lost my RP.

I was actually a little relieved to be able to go my own pace at that point I felt like I could maintain my current pace for a while and it would bring me in under 2:45. I was so excited when I got to the 6 mile water station I and spotted my RP!! She was just as happy to see me so we finally introduced ourselves. She was Julie and had run several half marathons all in the 2:45 time frame. She had a 2:45 wrist band on and told me that we were 7 minutes ahead of a 2:45 pace. That made me very happy and while math is about my favorite thing on the planet, I was glad not to have to use my brain power to figure that out now. We decided to stick together for the rest of the race. She started struggling at about mile 9 and told me to go on, but there was no way I was leaving her.  She returned the favor at mile 11 when I hit the wall. I had planned on running the entire 13.1 miles but I was suffering and walked up some of the hills.

Mile 12 was the hardest mile of the race for me. Every little hill (think freeway over pass) felt like a mountain. I had only taken 1.5 gels, a half at a time, but my stomach was horribly upset. I couldn’t handle any more and I knew my blood sugar was getting low. Somehow, I made it through. As we rounded the final turn, right at mile 13, I saw my family. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. I had nothing left but after spotting them I was able to keep running for the last 0.1 miles. As I approached the finish line, I started bawling. None of this comes natural to me and I never thought this possible even a year ago. finally, we made it under the banner at 2:43 (unofficial). Although I fantasized about coming in at 2:35, I was really happy with my final time given the terrain. My work is cut out for me, incorporate hills into my training, keep working on the endurance and somehow teach my stomach not to revolt on race day.

This was an amazing experience. I am already registered for the Surf City Half Marathon in February. I had been training for it last year until I got an Achilles injury and had to defer. I look forward to it but for now I am happy to just have a couple of 5ks, a 10k and a 15k in my plans for the rest of the year.

Jandro running me to the finish! :)

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What’s this blog for?

To record literary wanderings, to post pics from an insane photo sesh, or maybe it’s to post my first half marathon race report!!!

Stuff I love:

Paul – my one true love. The man who would surgically extract his own spine if ever I needed a new one

Mama Che Рwithout  her, there would have been no half marathon training

Jandro and Jules – My babies. The reason I (literally and figuratively) get out of bed in the morning

Julie B – who has seen me at my best and worst and still loves me

Running

The bunny path

My career (usually)

Chocolate

Sleep

Supermoms

Diet Black Cherry soda

Shooting babies – yes, I shoot babies

Southern California

Bike racing – not doing it myself, that was just plain ridiculous

Family hikes and bike rides

yada yada yada

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