A New Year & New Goals

Welcome to 2016!

2015 was an exciting year, running my first Boston Marathon and then following it up like a ridiculous person with another marathon barely 5 weeks later. While enjoyable, it did set me back a bit in regards to how my knees felt and slowed me down a bit more than I was expecting. Luckily, with no other races planned I kept it light until the end of September with a half marathon. Then I kept with the time off.

Well the madness of the end of the year is gone and I’m back at it. No races on the schedule and nothing planned besides adding exercise back into my routine, including regular strength training and more variety of activities like hiking.

Continue reading “A New Year & New Goals”

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New Shoes & 4 Weeks to Boston

28 days exactly to Boston! Woot woot!

Also, have my wave/corral assignment. Wave 3 corral 2 which means I get to start just before 11AM. Not as late as I was expecting & a goal to work towards. Need to get under 3:30 in the future to make it into Wave 2.

A bit late as I picked these up a few weeks ago, but new shoes!!! My most recent before this were the Saucony Ride 6 & Asics Gel Cumulus 15, both of which were good. Loved the Asics, but not sure I loved the Sauconys the way I have other shoes in the past (including other Sauconys). They’ve been getting up in miles, meaning that I was better off replacing them in enough time to transition over pre-Boston.

So the new ones!

First, switched out the Sauconys for the Mizuno Wave Rider 18. Light but cushy & good as a speed shoe.

20150317_074035Next, I stayed strong (mostly because of their comfort) with the Asics Gel Cumulus 16. Been a while since I’ve bought back to back pairs like that.

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Haven’t decided yet which pair I’ll wear for the big race. Traditionally I go for the cushier with marathons (so the Asics) and leave the lighter for halfs & shorter. But the runs I’ve been on so far with Mizunos (10 mile tempo for example) have felt pretty great. Both are going with me on the trip, so no rush to decide.

We’ll see post-Boston if I’m racing enough to justify a super lightweight pair just for racing. Not waffles I think, but maybe something like the Saucony Kinvara.

4 Years Later…

So I actually wrote this blog up a couple weeks ago, but managed to get distracted. Still, it had some solid thoughts I still want to convey and as such, I decided to go ahead & post it with minimal edits.

Just so we’re all on the same page beforehand though: 5 weeks to BOSTON!!! *ahem* Moving on…


Things have been kind of crazy recently. I never quite imagined these past 6 months would include getting into the Boston Marathon (which it did), getting essentially my dream job to kick-start my career (yet it did), and finally to move across the country to start building this life (it did!).

It’s been interesting, and I’ve only succeeded moderately, at balancing work and training. And mentally agonizing about it to an extent as well – I want to do well at Boston (maybe not PR or re-qualify, but I want to try).  So those days that work or sleep (or both!) compete with getting a run in has left me feeling guilty more than once.

What I really needed, and finally got, was some perspective.

Continue reading “4 Years Later…”

New Year, New Garmin & Boston Training

So much happening. First off, welcome to 2015! It’s a new year & that means less than 4 months to the Boston Marathon.

As a gift to myself for getting in, I bought a new Garmin! The Forerunner 220 & I love it already. Excited to go on runs just so I can use it.
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Training for Boston is officially under way. That said, this training will be an adventure due to traveling for work. So I also get to figure out how to properly get workouts in when I’m on the road. First test will be next week at CES (Vegas) and then PAX South (San Antonio) 2 weeks later.

A new year also means new goals. Since I’m in the SF area now, I’ve a few I want to tackle. In no particular order:

  • Find a running group
  • Blog more
  • Explore! Lake Tahoe (skiing) and Yosemite (hiking) are just hours away.
  • Survive Boston training (coworker was a sprinter in college and previously a personal trainer, so she’s been giving tips)
  • Sign up for a couple races in the 5K to half marathon range (I did a 10K last month with some coworkers)

As a side note, the crazily cold weather (it was 28 when I woke up this morning! What?!) has made my adjustment to the up in mileage a little harder than I anticipated. The muscles feel solid, but the lungs haven’t liked the icy air quite as much.

I expect 2015 to be quite the adventure!

The Boston Marathon & A New Job

Things have been a bit of madness around here the last two months.

To begin with, a company reached out to me about a job and over a couple of weeks I did several interviews. It’s been pretty amazing because it’s a step into the industry (video games) and work I want to do. The crazy part is that the job is in San Francisco!

As you can imagine, that made it even crazier because accepting the job meant moving across the country. But the opportunity was something I couldn’t pass up, so decision made I packed up my life and trekked 3,000 miles to the other side of the country.

Not only that, but my last week of work at my old job in Florida is when I finally heard back about the Boston Marathon. And guess what?

I got in! I am super excited to confirm my entry for the 2015 Boston Marathon!!!

As you can guess, I’ve been holding my breathe since the Marine Corps Marathon with the hope that I would get into Boston. I set an alarm and registered when the day opened up. Then it was the waiting game. Of course, all my running friends kept saying they’re pretty fast getting responses out and yet it felt like it was so long.

All of that aside, I am beyond stoked. There was yelling and dancing and jumping up and down with maybe just a couple tears.

An awesome bright side of this (though I’ve yet to see it that way) is that California is much hillier than Florida, so my training for Boston will have that one more advantage than before. Even if I don’t quite like the hills yet.

While my life has turned in a completely different direction the past few months, I’m having an absolute blast with my new job & learning a new city. With all the changes, I hope to write about my adventures of running here. Of course, I’ll also be logging my training for Boston as the days lead up.

Have an awesome day & I look forward to seeing friends at Boston in April! I’ll just leave this here…
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Getting Into Shape & Races

Recovering from an injury or taking some time off is always interesting because eventually, you have to get back to it. Finally you are recovered or your time frees up again and suddenly, surprise! Back to the grind of working out. Yet it’s not always that easy, so let’s be straight.

Getting back into shape sucks.

For a few reasons really, and not even ones that are necessarily easy to overcome. Or rather, they’re more often than not about mind over matter and being the master of yourself. You know, that sort of stuff.

Time to re-establish the routine.

Continue reading “Getting Into Shape & Races”

The Other New Shoes

So I got these just before Gasparilla as my secondary shoes, but didn’t get enough days of test runs in to post about it too quickly. Besides, I was trying to get my Ragnar recap done.

Anyways, say hello to my newest shoes! These bright things are the Asics Gel Cumulus 15. A friend happened to wander across them for a good deal and let me know. Considering I loved my Cumulus 14s (more than 400 miles on them!), there was no doubt. They also work well as a training shoe and hopefully race shoe (Gasparilla will be the test).

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Just a quick post this time. Be on the lookout for a possible multi-part recap of Gasparilla in the near future.

Say Hello To My Newest Friends – Shoes That Is

It’s that time again. Sadly.

My latest shoes, the Saucony Mirage 3 and Pearl Izumi eMotion Road N2, were fantastic in getting me through the end of marathon training and PRing several races. I’m actually quite sad to feel the amount of strain I’ve done to the soles. I ran a BQ in these shoes and then went on to PR my half and 5K. They had some of my best runs, training and racing, so far. Yet sometimes you just have to let go (totally making my shoes sound like a good friend—because they are!).

So as I start to ease off these two old ones, I’d like to introduce my newest pair. The Saucony Ride 6. In the un-missable color that my friends call highlighter yellow. Ha!

100_4338 These are more of training shoes that the last two. Since I don’t really have any race goals besides finishing in the near future, I’m expecting to just log miles. As such, these should take a little more damage than the two before it. I’ve only gotten a couple runs in them so far, but I’m loving the feel of a new shoe and all the cushion.

I’m a bit undecided if I should go for another pair of trainers or pick up more of a racing shoe for the second pair. Luckily, I appear to have enough time to think on it as I get these new ones into my routine.

Training For A Relay Means Twice A Day…What?!

With less than 2 weeks until Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, figured it would be appropriate to post a little about how exactly I’m training for it.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really think much beyond “YES I WANT TO DO IT!” when I was asked to fill a spot for a Ragnar Relay. What followed was about the same thought process when I went for the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge. Afterwards was the realization that these registrations needed to be followed up with an applicable type of training.

Now my running routine has settled into the usual non-training of about 35 miles a week. This amount includes a speed workout in the form of intervals and usually at least a 10 mile long run. But since I want to do two events that require running/racing multiple times in a 24 hour period, it seems appropriate to do some twice a day runs.

Great in theory; a whole lot different in practice.

To be a bit moderate, I’ve been adding only 2 to 3 days of double runs. Pretty much keeping my regular running schedule and then on the days that are easiest for me, running at the opposite end of the day as well.

Let there be no doubt. It’s difficult. More than anything it seems hard to convince myself I need to go back out—again—for a second run when I already got one done for the day. It’s tiring. The first week of these I got more 8-10 hour nights of sleep than I can remember in too long. It makes me mad hungry; definitely been eating a lot more too.

Yet I’m getting in the extra mileage and prepping pretty solidly for both events.

My Ragnar team is all set. I’m runner #2 which means I’ll be totaling about 18 miles across the three legs. The splits aren’t too bad (in my mind at least) with a 4.4, 4.7, and then 9.0 as the miles for each leg. And on the even more awesome side, my last leg is the 7 mile bridge! Score! By the way, my team thinks this mentality is crazy. While I may not know what exactly I’m getting myself into, I am super stoked to get to run the 7 mile bridge.

Luck has been on my side as one of my team members has a spread sheet that when paces are entered calculates about what time of day we can expect for each of our legs. As such, that’s helped me lots in logging runs around the different times I’ll be expecting to run.

By choice, I’ve not been attempting to make these runs at my estimated pace. I’m treating it like a real race where adrenaline and such will have my “race pace” faster than what I’ve been training. But I’ve still managed to log a few good runs in the 8:10-8:30 range, so I feel pretty comfortable at being able to reach what I estimated (a 7:45 pace). Though that last leg is iffy.

Biggest thing I’ve learned from the past few weeks is pay attention to recovery. Those multiple runs in 24 hours come back to haunt you if you aren’t properly going about the post-run routine. I make sure to have a bottle of water with a Nuun tablet thrown in after every run. If not that, a glass of chocolate milk. Extra stretches and compression sleeves as necessary. All are mad important to keep moving about as normal even with the extra miles.

The next 10 days will be filled with prep as I plan out my gear. The rest of my team has been very helpful passing along tips, so expect to see me write at least a little something about tackling that.

All In: Gasparilla Ultra Challenge

Once again I seem to have committed myself to a crazy event. Deciding to not focus solely on distance PRs this year, it only seemed appropriate to follow up a Ragnar Relay with something equally questionable in the sanity department.

Gasparilla is a local flavor event and one I’ve done several times between high school and now. The past few years I’ve just tackled the half marathon as I was generally chasing a PR. With the Gasparilla race weekend happening just two weeks after Ragnar, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. Thinking it over since I’ll be trying training methods centered around running several times in a 24 hour period, the decision seemed kind of obvious.

If I’m doing that training anyways, why not do a challenge? Gasparilla offers several “ultra” challenges for tackling different sets of races. Since I’m doing it, I’m going all in for the main one, the Michelob Ultra Challenge.

Mich-Ultra-ChallengeI’ll run the 15K and 5K on Saturday. Then follow it up with the half marathon and 8K on Sunday. For a total of 30.4 miles over two days.

Let’s be realistic. I just have to complete the races within the time limits; it doesn’t necessarily mean I need to race them all. That said, my plan is to attempt to race the two longer distances, the 15K and the half marathon, due to them being my stronger events. I’m more likely to place in my age group with those two than the shorter 5K and 8K. (And as such, get more bling.)

Being straightforward: the chance to collect 4 shirts, a jacket, and 5 medals was a big incentive. It’s almost like doing an ultra, but spreading out the running and getting more stuff out of it.

Though as I read that, it does seem like sort of skewed logic. Just means the next 6 weeks are going to be an adventure.