The 700 Club

700

Checking in my Runsolutions goal of running 800-900 miles.

Toward the end of October, I surpassed 700 friends. 700!! 100 more miles to go (currently at 736 miles, so 64 to be exact). I crunched the numbers, which by the way, is not one of my favorite pastimes, and it shouldn’t be a stretch to reach 800.

I average around 17 miles a week. There’s about 8.5 weeks left til the end of the year. That should be about 136 more miles before the end of the year. I just need to stay healthy and disciplined, which may be easier said than done. Hear that IT band? Let’s work together here.

Yay for reaching goals. Yay for double digit runs (10 miler this morning). And yay for FRIDAY.

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Morning Routine Running Tips

As I drove my car this morning to the local trail in the pitch blackness of the morning, I thought about how this is even possible. How does one wake up morning after morning to go on several mile runs. The morning light is beautiful, but my bed and snuggly duvet cover is beautiful as well. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’ve only been running for a few years now, but I am an expert in routine and discipline. As with most things in life, to make things more efficient and effective for myself I come up with an action plan to help me achieve my goals. I wanted to share some ways to make waking up early for those sunrise runs a little more bearable.

1. Go to bed early
This may be a no brainer, but ever since I’ve become a consistent runner, my bed times have also become more consistent. Especially the night before a long run, I want to make sure that my body is energized and ready to go. I used to suffer from insomnia, which thankfully has subsided, but getting enough sleep is always an essential part of my routine.

2. Set out your running clothes the night before
I read this on a running blog before and it is one of the best tips that I’ve added to my routine. I’ll throw my shirt, shorts (with fall coming, capris!), socks, sports bra and GPS watch into a pile (not gonna lie, I’m too lazy to fold them neatly, they are always in a big, messy heap) near the foot of my bed. I don’t even need to think in the morning when I get up. I just grab those bad bays, change and head out the door.

3. Run with a friend
There’s no better accountability to get up and run than running with a friend. As much as I want to hit snooze on my alarm, I know that my friend Erica will be there at the trail waiting for me. Don’t want to keep her there waiting long and I especially don’t want to make her late to work on account of getting a late start running!

4. DON’T lie in your bed and browse social media!
This one is mostly to keep myself accountable. I’ve been guilty the past month of skipping runs to snuggle in my bed and keep up to date on my social media accounts. “Just five more minutes,” I tell myself. Five minutes turns into ten minutes and ten minutes is the equivalent of a MILE. In that 10 minutes I wasted keeping up with the Jonses, I could’ve already been one mile into my run. No more social media checking til after my runs.

What helps you get up in the morning to run?

Signs of Fall

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

“It’s SO cold,” I lamented to my running buddy this morning. I had debated throwing a sweatshirt on. I ended up deciding against it as the temperature has been running in the mid 80s this past week.  One of the perks of living in the Bay Area is the Indian summer that extends summer into September/October. While I’m basking in 90 degree weather, there are still signs that make me face the reality that Fall is actually here.

The tell tale signs of fall are the shorter days. My running buddy and I were forced to move our morning run back by 15 minutes. We showed up last week to run in pitch black. I snapped the photo above during our run. When I was training for my marathon last year, I’d religiously check the sun rise time to figure out the earliest possible time I could start my run. I figured out I could start about 15-20 minutes before the set sunrise time. The sad thing about fall is having to start my runs later due to the later sunrise (but I also count this as a positive thing, since I get a little more snuggle time with my pillow!).

Today, we ran our 4 miler 15 minutes later. It’s amazing what a difference 15 minutes makes. Starting 15 minutes earlier allowed us to finish early enough to miss the craziness of the morning commute/moms driving their kids to school traffic. An extra 15 minutes makes my strength training/abs/stretching post-run routine and shower a lot less rushed. An extra 15 minutes also gave me enough time to have a bizarre dream about running a marathon, and a Disney marathon at that, on a whim 🙂 Yes, my running addiction is even consuming my dream life now.

There’s no denying it. Fall is here.

Running leggings and sweatshirts, I’m coming for you!

 

I (will) eat hills for breakfast

My husband and I signed up for the San Francisco Rock n Roll Half Marathon next March. We made sure to register before the price increase! No procrastination here (for once)! My husband also was pleased to see that this race has a pretty generous refund policy which includes  injury, illness, and unexpected travel delays. Brownie points to the race directors at the Rock n Roll, I like how you think.

I am a big fan of the Rock n Roll series. I’ve raced in the half marathon in San Jose and full marathon in San Diego. The races are always well organized, high energy and really fun to be a part of. I believe the San Francisco location has only been around for 2-3 years. Last year, I was interested in signing up but one tiny little thing stood in my way.

Actually make that three 300 foot gargantuan things.

The hills are alive with the sound of San Francisco. Call me a baby, but I avoid hills like the plague. And even though it’s always one of those things that I know I should do, I just can never bring myself to add hill training to my workouts.

So. Much. Pain.

But there is that old saying, no pain, no gain right and by signing up for this half marathon I will HAVE to train hills. Hill training conjures up feelings of anxiety and dread. I will have to remind myself that this was a voluntary assignment. I have no one to blame but myself.

Speaking of The Hills, I can’t think of a better way to accentuate a post on hill training than with some gifs from my friends Lauren, Whitney and Audrina. Let’s be honest, life is better with a little Lauren Conrad thrown into it. My not so guilty reality TV pleasure will precisely illustrate all of my current feels:

To answer the question, why am I doing this?
sacrifice wins

I guess I am sort of a glutton for punishment
glutton for punishment

To inspire myself during my inevitable hill workouts:
hills-worse

What I hope to look like after hill workouts:
hills-yay

What I’ll actually look like:
hills-sad

Okay hills, let’s go.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: 10K Recap

This recap is quite late. I would apologize, but I’m sure my race recaps will never be on time.

To kick off the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, my fellow Dumbo Double Dare compadres (my husband and good friend), woke up at 3:30am to run the 10k. The ONLY reason in life to wake up at 3:30am is for Disney races. Disney races start SOOOO early in the morning. I know they want to start early so that the race doesn’t interfere too much with their normal park operating hours, but this is the only race I’ve ran where I feel like I should be going to bed at the time I’m waking up.

goodmorningirvine

Since we were crashing at a friends place in Irvine, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to drive there, park and find the corrals. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the parking situation was quite easy and the walk from the parking structure to the corrals was just mere minutes. It felt much longer and more complicated at Disneyworld, but maybe it’s due to the fact that Disneyland is my “home turf”. I guess being an annual pass holder for several years is good for something. We arrived with plenty of time to spare. We hung out in the runner’s area and took advantage of the extra time to take some photos. For the 10K, my friends and I had a “monstrously” awesome group costume idea…

monsters

CAUTION. MONSTERS ON THE SCARE FLOOR. Don’t worry, we only scare because we care. Mike Wazowski, Sully and Boo comin’ atchya from the Disneyland 10k. The guys’ costumes were fun to make. I picked up some felt at a craft store and went to town. So excited that I was  finally able to use my rudimentary sewing skills! I loved how they turned out. I made my husband (Sully) attach a blue fluffy tail to the back of his shirt as well. My Boo outfit was easy to throw together. Good thing I love pink and purple, I didn’t even need to buy anything!

Race Highlights:

  • Almost the entire 10K was in Disneyland and California Adventures! It made for a very interesting and magical run. I thought it was cool getting to run in the “backstage” areas of Disney like where they store the huge floats.
  • I ran the race with my husband and our friend. I had a good corral placement the highest of the three of us and was planning on taking advantage of it. But last minute, I decided to start in the same corral as my husband. My husband wanted to save his energy for the half marathon the next day, so we employed the Galloway run walk method and would run 1 minute and walk another minute. Our friend started in a corral that was further back, but he was able to catch up to us once we got inside California Adventure. It was tons of fun running as a group. We made sure to stop to take pictures, be silly and really enjoy the race.
  • The 10K was Lilo & Stitch themed, (World of) color me surprised. I had no idea til we got there. It was fun to see so many people dressed up as Lilo and the Elvis music blasting along the course.
  • Dressing up in costumes! For the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend I felt vastly unprepared. I remember showing up to the corrals and had a bit of a FOMO (fear of missing out) moment. Why was I the only one not dressed up? Why are people so creative? Why did I not plan a costume??? Dressing up to run in Disney races should be mandatory. It was fun coming up with a costume idea for our group, creating the costumes and then prancing around Disneyland in the costumes. As we were getting out of our car in the morning, two runners came up to us and were squealing about Sully’s tail. When they realized that we were the Monster Inc. crew, they were beside themselves with happiness.
  • Best Costume Award was for this guy dressed up as Kronk with Isma strapped to his back (see photo below). Seriously? Is this real life? I love this costume because it is not your typical Disney costume. Some people I know have never even seen the Emperor’s New Groove (I know, they lead sad, strange little lives). We were in the same corral as this guy. I could not stop staring. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Even more impressive, he finished the entire 10k in this get up. Hero.

Overall it was a fun race, as most Disney races are. One thing I was disappointed in was the lack of characters on the course. There were plenty of Elvis photo ops, but very few characters. Not going to lie, I was a little sad as that was something I was looking forward to. Now, onto the photos!

Wonderful World of Color!The infamous handstand photo

mater

Sully's tail - my favorite part of the costume and Sleeping Beauty's castlefloats and costumes - Disney races are endless funsullyandbooFinish with a smile (and ice)

Better Together

#runningram See Val Run
A quick snap on my 4 mile run this morning.

This morning I had a 6:30am meeting. SIX-THIRTY AM. SIX-THIRTY! Oh the life of a high school sports coach. 6:30am is apparently the only time that high school coaches can meet.

As I drove back home, I had already made my mind up that I wasn’t going to run. I like to run as soon as I get up, if I wait too long I get too hungry. I decided it was going to be a “cross training day” which actually translates to a no workout day.

I opened the door to find my husband sitting on the floor tying his shoe laces.

If he can do it, I can do it.

I quickly changed to running clothes and we began our run together. My husband wanted to run two miles, so I ran the first mile with him. A half mile into the run, I decided I was going to run four. After one mile, we parted ways and he turned around and ran back home and I continued for a few more miles. The photo above was snapped on my run. As we were running, we were talking about how both of us wanted to be lazy today, but we knew that we would feel better and actually have more energy if we went out for a run.

The past two weeks I’ve been lacking in motivation for anything fitness related. But there’s one thing that gets me out the door every time: running with friends. I used to hate running with other people. I was self conscious about how slow I was. I hated feeling the pressure of keeping up with someone and felt to embarrassed to ask people to take walking breaks. While I’m not completely over this, I do enjoy running with people more than I used to. I run with people who are about my size (and that’s fun size aka short) and/or have a similar pace as me.

Running with friends has been an awesome way to keep me accountable for actually running, especially when I don’t have the race motivation factor. If I know someone else is waiting for me, I can’t lie in bed aimlessly scrolling through my facebook newsfeed.

This week I plan on running three times, and I have a running buddy for each day.

Friends for the win!