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.

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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?

Hit the Ground Running

I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than with a morning run. With the new year comes a sense of new beginnings, a fresh start, and a blank canvas with seemingly infinite possibilities.

To be honest, I didn’t want to leave the confines of my warm and toasty bed, especially since it’s been so cold here lately (yes, I’m using the California definition of cold here, but spoiled Californian aside – I think we can legitimately say it’s cold here). Thankfully my willpower ended up winning and (with a little bit of persuasion) my husband and I headed out the door for our first run of 2015.

My husband and I just moved into a new home and used our run also as an opportunity to explore our new neighborhood. Two for one! He is coming back from a running injury and ran the first mile with me. It was a sleepy morning, not too many cars or people around. Although the people I did run into greeted me warmly and enthusiastically. I completed my usual four mile run with an extra sense of satisfaction as a January 1st run always feels that much better than any other day of the year run.

4 miles down, 896 more to go!

800 and Counting…

800

Well folks, it happened. I hit my Runsolution goal of running 800 miles. (and the crowd goes wild)

I was a little worried about actually making the goal because at the end of November I took a two week running hiatus (hence no blog updates). My body was feeling run down and I realized that I was dreading my morning runs. It took every ounce of will power to get myself out of bed to run. I had a hard time completing my “easy” for mile runs, the long runs were just torturous. I wondered if I had hit a wall. It made me sad to think that I didn’t enjoy running any more. I started to look for reasons why my mentality had shifted.

I had just finished up a strenuous 3 months. It was jam packed with work events, coaching, family obligations, fun weekend trips and adjusting to married life. At the end of November, this left me feeling exhausted. Was I really exhausted? Or was I just being lazy?

I decided to listen to my body. If I felt like I needed extra sleep instead of a run, I slept. If I woke up with some extra energy, I went for a run. Throughout that two week period I only ran twice. It was about 6-8 miles total, definitely nothing to write home about. The tiger mom that lives in my head was going a little crazy.

“What if you don’t make your 800 mile goal?”

“You’re so lazy for sleeping in!”

I decided to just ignore the slave driver/goal oriented monster in my head. After two weeks, I would try and resume a normal running schedule and if I still wasn’t enjoying it, that probably meant that I needed more time off.

Last week, I laced up my shoes and with my phone (MapMyRun!) in hand I hit the ground running (punny? okay, no). Much to my relief, I enjoyed that week of runs – which made all the time off well worth it. I definitely felt the two weeks off though. I ran a couple of shorter runs and one long-ish run of 6 miles. The six miler was killer. It felt like I’d never run that long ever. As I huffed, puffed and took walking breaks to finish, I questioned the fact that I am a marathon finisher. While that six mile run scared me a bit, the following week was back to normal. I guess that rough week was enough for the muscle memory to kick in. Not sure if anyone’s found themselves in a similar position to me. This is the first time I’ve experienced training fatigue since I started running consistently three years ago. Just wanted to encourage people to listen to their bodies and that taking time off is not the end of the world as we know it 🙂

800 miles… CHECK.

(And with a week and a half to spare!)

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.

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!