Ramblings & TMI

Yesterday I was planning on going to Body Pump after work, pulling a double workout.  Unfortunately, it was full and if you weren’t on the list, you couldn’t get a pass, and you couldn’t participate.  Fortunately, the gym is conveniently located at the mall.  So because I couldn’t work out, I went and dropped some mad buck$$$ at Nordstrom.  I unremorsefully purchased a new wallet, new purse, new iPhone case, and tried on some new running shoes.  I’ve been wanting to check out Brooks Pureflow’s, but the size 8 was almost too tight and the size 8.5 were just too big.  Plus, when I looked down, I just felt like I had kangaroo feet.  I’m not dissing anyone out there with Brooks.  I liked yours so I thought I would like them for me.  I think I’ll probably just been sticking with Nikes.

Since my last race I’ve been wanting to buy some new shoes.  Completing and training for a new race is always a good excuse to buy new shoes.  However, I’ve been wanting to get properly fitted at Road Runner Sports, but I just haven’t had the time.  So I’ve been wearing an old pair of Nike Lunar Eclipse (like the one’s I re-bought and returned) because I figured they’re in ok shape since I never ran a race in them.  However, Saturday, towards the end of my 8 mile run, I started to feel a burn on the inner arch of my right foot.  Low and behold, a little blister, probably the size of my pinky-tip.  Sunday I just decided to run (10 miles) right on it, assuming it would just pop.  This didn’t happen, and it just got a little bit bigger.  Now, after running on it 6 miles yesterday and 4 miles this morning, IT IS HUGE.

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all black err-thang at 6am

It takes 3 bandaids to cover it up.  I am literally walking on the side of my foot.  Pretty soon I’m going to need a crutch!  I feel like it’s slowly going to keep growing and take over my entire body.  I tried sticking it with a needle, but it’s just a flaccid mass (cute, huh?).  SPOILER: cover your eyes.

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Post work I ran 3 more miles that were the most difficult.  I was over working my left leg, while supinating my right foot.  Overall, I’ve just been trying to increase my mileage this week, but it has just come to bite me in the butt.  Or maybe the loss of my right foot this is just a strong message: I NEED NEW SHOES 😉

My First Race

Yesterday’s race brings back memories from my first ever half marathon, which just so happened to be the La Jolla half.  I probably did everything wrong, but ended up with my best La Jolla time.  How? It’s become even more of a mystery to me.

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1. Didn’t buy a bib when I started training.  I planned to do this with a couple of friends.  But they kept debating whether or not they wanted to do it.  I was committed, and had started a 10-week training plan (from Marathon Rookie).  By week 6, after I had finished my first ever 10 mile run, I decided to sign up.  But to my dismay, the race was sold out.  This was the most crushing thing ever.  Luckily, I was able to buy a bib from a friend’s friend.  I don’t know if transferring bibs was in effect (I didn’t do this), but I essentially ran my first half marathon as not myself.

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2. Wore inappropriate clothing.  Cotton race t-shirt, basketball shorts…yep.  I don’t even think I wore a watch.

3. Didn’t know the course.  Only the day before when my parents were down did we drive the course route (I was limited in mobility. Keep in mind I still didn’t have a car  down here at this point).  I knew there was a hill at mile 6, but I assumed it was the slight and continuous incline of Torrey Pines Road.  Only during the race when I saw everyone go into the Reserve did I realize, “Oh shit, we’re running into the mountain?!”

4. Experimenting with a vegetarian diet.  My most regretful moment was probably going out to eat afterwards at a burger joint, only to eat a veggie burger (which was sub-par).

At this point in my running “career,” I was just trying to get back into shape after a lapse in running, priorities, and judgement.  I went, what I, myself, deem “crazy,” for one quarter.  I started going out too much and drinking too much.  After this short period, I just felt disgusting.  I thought, what better way to get back into shape than to commit myself to run 13.1 miles.  So ensued the journey of running half marathons, and the re-focus on living a healthy lifestyle.

La Jolla Half Marathon

Today I finished my third time at the La Jolla half, and my 7th half marathon.  With a recap of my goals, I ran a 1:47:26, my worst time so far, but 9 seconds.  But really, who am I to care that much.  As far as I’m concerned, I pushed myself as hard as I could today.  And I’m just as proud.

I arrived at the Del Mar Fairgrounds around 6am and had no trouble parking.  Then, I met up with Morgan and we shot the shit (literally) and talked about it.  It was nice to wait around with someone, as to not think about the race and to kill some nerves.   At 7:30am, we were off.

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The first 2 miles just seemed to be getting out and around the racetrack (splits: 7:51, 7:48).  Mile 3-4 were all familiar, traversing through Del Mar.  However, I thought I remembered the course previously running up 15th Street and through the Village (would’ve seen my office then!).  Instead, it ran through residential and up on 4th Street.  A miniature prelude to the hill (splits: 7:58, 8:35).  Then a slight downhill grade on the bridge that pedestrians have been prohibited on for quite some time (construction work, only cars allowed. split: 7:33).  Then, the hill.  Let me take that back.  The mountain.  This is literally a mountain.  People go hiking here!  I pushed myself to run the whole thing, with a walk at the top at the water station (split: 9:47).  I only took water about 3 times today, and just decided to walk through them.  It refreshed my legs, and also made sure I didn’t choke on the water. I still haven’t mastered running and drinking.  Once the hill flattened out, I was pretty fatigued and couldn’t push anything faster than a 9:11 mile.

Back on Torrey Pines, miles 8-10, my mindset switched back and forth from “this is tough” to “I feel like I’m in a dream!”  This race seemed to be relatively quick, as in, the miles just seemed to pass by, and I didn’t have to dwell on how many more were left.  I think this has to do with the fact that I’ve run many parts of the course throughout the past couple of years, just in my every day life (splits: 7:59, 7:48, 8:20).

Once mile 11 hit, I knew I would have the option to pick it up and make up some time.  I think I pretty much killed my legs, trying to control my stride while simultaneously just trying to let my body go (split: 6:43).

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By mile 12, at Spindrift/Princess St. I was tired (split: 8:10).  I pushed myself to get up this last hill.  Once back on Torrey Pines, I knew I just had to make it to Prospect, and then the finish would be all downhill.  I kicked it into action and gave it all I had for the last quarter mile (final split: 8:40).

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Post-race I gimped around while we spent 30-45 minutes trying to locate the car.  Then I enjoyed a delicious meal at Solace where I didn’t just go yesterday  I went after my last race.  I do love me some cheddar biscuits, and a good-ass burger!

After everything I recovered with a soak in the hot tub, some peaceful laps in the pool, and a refreshing Big Gulp.  Fountain soda diet Dr. Pepper will be my demise!

How Smurfs Recover

photoYesterday I got stuck at the Apple store, and ended up being too late to join in the #BostonStrong run at Movin’ Shoes Encinitas.  Instead, I ran 4 miles by myself, suffering from slight shin splints.  So last night and today, I resorted to recovering via PRO Compression Socks!  To bed. To work.  But I swear I pulled down my pants, and I swear I’m not just a Smurf!

I just finished reading Why You Should Taper Before A Marathon and came across a few good tips for building confidence the week before a race.    These include setting goals – amazing, ideal, and livable – that will make you feel accomplished, no matter what, when you cross that finish line.  I usually don’t set specific goals ahead of time.  I usually, like most people, just want to PR.  But when the race begins and I realize I might not do as unrealistically well as I want, I start the battle in my brain.  So instead, I think I’ll try jotting some realistic goals out now to free my mind.

Set multiple time goals, separated by 5 to 15 minutes so you don’t feel like you leave empty-handed:

  1. Fantastic – new PR, below a 1:44
  2. Really good – new course PR, below a 1:46
  3. I can live with that – 1:48 to 1:52 (preferably not the latter, but who knows).

Set general goals (i.e. not walking, finishing strong, or simply enjoying yourself):

  1. Staying confident throughout the race
  2. Not completely dying after the hill
  3. Finishing strong with a sprint

Visualize the race and what you want to accomplish in each part:

  1. Start – start off comfortable and strong.
  2. Halfway point – pick up speed slightly, or maintain pace.
  3. Mile 12-12.75 – pick it up as much as I can.
  4. Mile 12.75-13.1 – give it all I’ve got.  The last incline of the course with a downhill finish.

How do you set your race goals?

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Race Mania: Day Seventeen

One of the exciting parts of running a race is entering territory that is normally blocked off to pedestrians –such as busy and congested city streets.  Or in this next instance, large thoroughfares that never allow foot traffic: the Coronado Bay Bridge.  On May 19th, the 27th Navy’s Bay Bridge Run/Walk will start in downtown San Diego and traverse this iconic bridge to the finish in Coronado.  When my mom first asked me if I wanted to do this run, I only had to think of which bridge she was talking about before I agreed.  So now I’ve added a new race to my agenda.  It’s time I’ve stepped out from my routine runs and start exploring new locations and different distances.

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Do you ever get caught in a racing rut?