Aw, HILL NO!

My blog posts have been few and far between and that’s because my focus has been to the hills. I will say that it’s been a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with hill training. When I was running a couple weeks ago, I shouted out loud at the hill, “I HATE YOU SAN FRANCISCO! I HATE YOU SAN FRANCISCO!” Not going to lie, it did make going up the hill a little bit easier.

A runner that ran the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll last year told me via twitter that last year’s total course elevation was around 1100 feet. Now I’ve made it my goal to hit 1100 feet (and maybe a little more) on a training run. And that’s the beauty of signing up for a challenging course like the SF RNR, I’m forced to do things my typical lazy self would never do.

Here’s a recap of my hill training runs the past month:

2/5: 9 miles – 651 ft
2/11: 4 miles – 422 ft
2/14: 4 miles – 420 ft
2/16: 4 miles – 308 ft
2/17: 11 miles – 961 ft
2/28: 10 miles – 975 ft

My past two long runs hit 900+ feet. Less than 200 more feet to go!

Even though running hills makes my legs muscles feel exhausted and my lungs feel like they’re going to explode, there is a level of satisfaction when you get to the top of hill that can never be matched from running on an even surface. I love (finally) getting to the top of an incline and the view is majestic. I feel very blessed to be running in California and have the choice of several different trails, each with their own spectacular views. Okay hills, I’ll admit it. I don’t actually hate you, and maybe I even love you?

That is the beauty of signing up for a challenging course like the San Francisco Rock n Roll. It finally gave the the motivation to tackle hill running. I was such a scaredy cat before.

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Weekly Training Recap

Mon: 4 miles

Tues: 4 miles – 558 ft elevation gain
Hills day! My running partner and I made it a new years resolutions to tackle hills on our weekly runs. We finally mustered up the courage to run at an infamously hilly trail. We have a lot of work to do as this run included a lot of walking, but getting there is half the battle right?

Wed: Rest Day

Thurs: 1 mile 
Attempting to run four days a week again. Last time I ran 4 days a week, my ITBS started flaring up. Hoping that all the strength training, stretching and foam rolling will help the ITBS be a thing of the past.

Fri: 10 miles – 105 ft gain
Ran the first two miles with my husband, made the 10 miles go by much faster! Even though I dread getting up earlier for long runs, I always feel so great afterwards – especially after a double digit run!

Sat: Insanity: Cardio Power & Resistance
Posting this before it actually happens with the hopes that it will actually make me do it 😉

Total mileage: 19 miles

T-minus 9 weeks til the San Francisco Rock N Roll.

Eating Hills for Breakfast

The San Francisco Rock n Roll Half Marathon is officially 73 days away. In terms of endurance, I feel fine. I’ve been alternating my long runs between 8, 9 and 10 miles. It won’t take long for me to ramp up to be ready for 13.1 miles. What is going to take some time is the hill training. There’s about three big inclines with several smaller ones. Here’s the official elevation change graph.

rnrsf-course-elevation-graph3
courtesy of Rock n Roll SF

I want to be prepared for all of those hills, so training began today. My running partner and I ditched our normal easy and flat running trail and headed for the hills. And… it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Our elevation gain was about 200 feet, or so my running partner told me, my running app crapped out and didn’t record the full run. I used this running trail as a test run. We have our sights set on a much hillier trail run, but the scaredy cat in me couldn’t bring myself to start there. Let’s set ourselves up for success shall we?

As I begin training for San Francisco and her infamous hills, do you have any tips to make eating hills for breakfast more palatable?

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.

I Dumbo Double Dare You

Image

I’m officially signed up for the Dumbo Double Dare run at Disneyland. 19.3 miles. I’m actually not too worried about it. I ran a 10k and marathon at Disneyworld. I did have a day off in between, but  I still feel confident about doing 6.2 and 13.1 back to back.

I’ll be running this half marathon with my sister. It’s her first half marathon! I’m so proud of her for signing up for this challenge! She ran the 10K with me in Disneyworld, perhaps the running bug has bit her too (it could also be because of the Disney magic).

When it comes to Disney and now runDisney, I feel like I should just give them direct access to my bank account. They’ve got me wrapped around that little mouse finger. Dumbo Double Dare, the pins to go a long with it, coast to coast… I’m a sucker for it all.

And this time, I’m going to run with a legit costume. EEP.

2014 Runsolutions

Quotes to Run By
(source: Stephan Lawson Designs)

Being the goal oriented person that I am, I love making resolutions. Being the procrastinator that I am, I’m making my “2014” running resolutions (Runsolutions from here on out) at the end of January.

1. Run three half marathons
I’m taking a break from marathons for at least a year. Give my body a little bit of much needed rest. I still want to race, so instead of two marathons, let’s shoot for three halves. Sounds like a good trade off. I’m hoping to run one in the spring, Disney in the summer (yes, Run Disney has me wrapped around their little money printing finger), and another one in the fall.

2. Run 800-900 miles
This past year I ran 1,000 miles. ONE THOUSAND MILES. 1,162 miles to be exact. Yeah, even I feel like I’m lying. I hit the 1,000 mile mark in late fall. I felt like the Little Engine That Could. This mileage total was due to training for the two marathons. Without the two marathons, I’m not sure if I can hit the 1,000 mark again. I’ll aim for 900 and be happy with 800. I haven’t quite figured out what my weekly mileage is going to be or what type of maintenance plan I’m going to use until I start training for the races. I’m getting married this year and have almost a month’s worth of travel plans, tons of fun, but it may throw a little wrench into my yearly running total, not quite sure what is realistic here.

3. Run FASTER
Slow and steady wins the race. But sometimes you just want to be faster. I want to start incorporating speed work into my runs.

4. Set a half-marathon PR
This is almost a sub goal of number three. Even with several years of running under my belt, I haven’t seen an improvement in my race times. All of the races I entered before, I entered to finish. Now I want to push myself to set a half marathon PR.

5. Cross and strength train
Ugh. I get resistance even typing this goal. Cross and strength training are what I slack on most. I got better with cross training, I just don’t have a lot of joy in doing it. In addition to whatever my running schedule ends up being, I will add one day of cross training. I believe that my lack of strength training is the reason I’m having problems with my IT band. I promise to not neglect it this year.

6. Kick the IT Band Pain to the Curb
See above. Bye, bye ITBS!