Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Year in Review

2012 was a pretty incredible year! In January I made a commitment to getting fit and healthy - for real this time. With a wedding in July, I had finally run out of excuses. Well, it's now December, and I have to say I am happy with what I was able to accomplish. I am in the best physical shape of my life and feel good! Looking forward to setting some new goals in 2013. After all, I have to work off the hundreds of cookies I ate at my mom's house last week on vacation - that might take a while.

The first half the year I really focused on my gym workouts. I was going to Boot Camp twice a week and throwing in some spin classes and doing some more generic workouts with the husband-to-be and brother-in law.

In July I married my best friend and tomorrow we celebrate 6 months of marriage! I was able to fit in my dress with no alterations and a single try on that was 2 months before the big day. Whew.


We had a destination wedding (highly recommended)! We got married on a Carnival Cruise, and then invited our guests to sail away to the Bahamas with us! It was a blast. Seriously, the best.

After the wedding, I decided to refocus my fitness efforts on training for a half marathon. I've never been a runner before, but I found a training plan and got to it. In September I finished my first half marathon - and in November my second!


My sister came to cheer me on for my big day. 


Showing off my race swag after finishing the US Half. 

December has been a great month as well. After the Turkey Day 5K, I saw a post from @RunnersWorld on twitter about a RunStreak that was taking place from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I had never considered anything of the sort, but I thought what a great challenge. I had already knocked out a run on Thanksgiving, so I thought to myself, I can do this. Well, 3 days in I got the flu, so the official runstreak was ruined. When I was back on my feet, I decided to start over. My goal was to run every day in December. I am happy to report that I succeeded. I knocked out 93 miles this month, making it my highest month of mileage ever - and I'm topping off the year at 404 miles. (Check out my dailymile profile to see all my runs).

Hope you accomplished all you set out to do in 2012. Happy New Years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bikram Yoga - I'm in LOVE

About a year ago, I got a great Groupon deal for 2 months unlimited classes at a local Bikram Yoga studio (Funky Door Yoga). I thought this would be a great way to get in shape for the wedding. Well, it's now December and I've been married 5 months and I recently got a reminder email to use my Groupon before it expired.

After putting this off for about a year - I was kind of dreading / nervous about trying out "hot yoga" - but I didn't want that $40 to go to waste. I've tried a few Yoga classes at my gym over the years (not recommended), and I was never able to get into it. But I told myself - you just need to go to 2 classes and the deal will have paid for itself.

Fast forward 1 week - I've been to 4 classes and I'm in love! Bikram Yoga is nothing like regular yoga, in my opinion. Sure I find myself twisted up like a pretzel every so often (see pose #4), but it's quite a different experience from the crappy yoga at the gym.

Lights on - the teacher has a mic and gives detailed instructions on every move - and it's 100 degrees in the room. The class is 90 minutes long and is composed of 26 poses. It's best to wear as little as possible in the class - because you will get sweaty! And no need to be self conscious - no one is looking at you - they are all focused on themselves...for reals.


Pose #13 is one of my favorites - especially after falling over like a fool attempting to do #12.

Needless to say, I am going to take serious advantage of my 2 months of unlimited classes. Obviously I can't go every day - but 3-4 times a week should suffice. I'm so happy school is over until mid/late January - that clears up 2 extra nights a week - and there are late evening classes so I can go after work. Kind of bummed that I'll be missing out next week when we're in Arizona for Christmas. I already have days picked out for my post holiday sweat.

Have you tried Bikram yoga - or a regular yoga studio? What do you like most?

In other news, I hit day 17 of my runstreak today! The beginning of the week was a little rough, I was getting pretty tired, but I find that the yoga has really helped loosen me up and my runs later in the week were pretty good.

It's been a while (about 6-7 weeks) since I've done any longer distance runs (anything over 4 miles), but I'm thinking about signing up for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon on February 3rd - which is right around the corner - so I had to officially kick off training. Yesterday I knocked out a 10K (close enough, 6.14 miles). The run started out good - but I was slowing down a little after about 3.5 miles - but then found myself on some holiday race route being chased by a few dozen runners in Santa suites. This was good motivation to pick up my pace. I wanted to make it to 7 miles, but decided not to overdue it and finish strong.

I was super happy with my finish time - about 55 minutes - giving me a pace of 9:03/mile. This is phenomenal - my finish time for the US Half Marathon left me with a pace of 10:00+/mile. If I can keep this new pace during training the next few weeks - I might be able to PR, which would be a great start to the new year.

Tough Mudder training has been on hold for the most part over the past 2 weeks. My brother-in-law had a guest in town and then was sick this weekend. And I'm sure the holidays will mess up the next weekend or two. Don't get me wrong - I have done something active every day for the last 17 days - sometimes doubling up with 2 workouts in one day - but none have been super focused on strength building for the TM. Although, last weekend, I was able to do my first unassisted chin up. It was awesome! I felt like a badass. And I know you're probably thinking, seriously, she's getting excited over one chin up?! Really, don't knock it until you've tried it...it's hard. Hoping by Tough Mudder day, I'll be able to do several - otherwise, someone is pushing me up and over the wall.

I think that's all for now. I know I've been slacking on the posts lately, going to try and pick that up. Having next week off should be a good motivator.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Runstreak

After the Turkey Day 5K and a day of cooking, I spent the evening surfing twitter posts and came across the Runner's World Runstreak. A challenge to commit to running at least 1 mile a day from Thanksgiving to Christmas. What a great challenge to keep the holiday pounds away (have I mentioned I have a serious cookie addiction). I haven't tried anything quite like this before and I'm all for trying new things, so here goes.

Well, I made it 3 days before I ended up with the stomach flu. Not cool! Not to mention a totally crappy way to end a 4 day weekend and ruin off my RW runstreak. Damn!

I was sick for 2 days and then took an extra 2 days to let my body completely recover - I think this was a wise idea. I didn't have a proper meal over those 4 days, so I probably wouldn't have made it far without collapsing. So after all this the end of November had arrived...instead of scratching the runstreak, I decided I would adjust the plan and run every day in December. Run at least 1 mile a day for 31 days. Challenge on!

Today is the 6th and so far I'm on track. I went for a run on the 30th, so my streak hit 7 today. This is a new milestone for me, it's small but it feels good. I feel confident that I can make it through the month - and come January who knows...maybe I'll keep it going.

What's your longest runstreak? I've read some blogs and twitter feeds about runners on streaks well over 100 days. Seriously impressive!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Day 5k Recap

This year was the inaugural Lifetime Turkey Day 5K in San Francisco. Since we were home for the holiday, we thought this would be a great way to kick off a day that would be followed by face stuffing.

I got a great deal on registration - there was a Groupon a few weeks back - 2 entires for $29! Can't beat that. My husband and brother-in-law agreed to run with me. They may have regretted that decision when I woke them up at 6AM on day off.

I was pretty impressed with the organization of this race considering it was the first year. We arrived about an hour before the start to pick up bibs and such. It was a little chilly, so we spent a good half hour bouncing around and goofing off to keep warm.



The race started a few minutes late as they were checking in the last of the participants. We were pretty much at the very front of the start line. The three of us started out together, and then Sean bolted off and we didn't see him again until the finish. Dan and I ran together for the first half, but somebody (eh hemmm) had a little too much fun Wednesday night and started to slow down...so I let him eat my dust! (Sorry babe). I was running at a pretty comfortable pace - didn't have my earphones in so no MapMyRun app beeping in to tell me how fast I was actually running. My goal was to finish under 30 minutes...but was really hoping to come in around 27 minutes....

Welllll....to my surprise I finished in 24:20! Holy cow...how the heck did that happen. I did not feel like I was running under an 8:00 minute mile - I mean at that pace, you're pretty much flying right?! Well, it happened, and I am damn proud. Obviously that was a personal best for me...in finish time and pace. I usually struggle to run a few miles at 8:30 - how I finished a 7:50 pace is beyond me. Guess I really wanted to work up an appetite for our afternoon feast.

Sean finished under 20 minutes. Beast! And even Mr. Slowpoke finished in an excellent time - somewhere around 27 minutes. I swear these boys were trying to show me up. Well, your efforts worked fellow - made me push myself a little further. Thanks!

This is my last race of the year, now the main focus is tough mudder workouts and not gaining a metric ton from eating too many holiday cookies.


Friday, November 23, 2012

This Thanksgiving I Spared a Turkey

Thanksgiving was a little different than usual this year - we decided not to go to Arizona. After going to Vegas in September and Michigan in October and with plans to go to Arizona in December - it just didn't seem all that feasible. So this year I hosted my own Thanksgiving - and to kick off the day we ran the inaugural Turkey Day 5K in downtown San Francisco! More to follow on that...

So...Thanksgiving dinner. Let's begin by saying we live in a small apartment and with that comes small appliances. I don't think a turkey would fit in our over - so I settled on making pot pie. I had every intention of making turkey pot pie - but when realizing turkey breasts were almost $8 a pound the week of Thanksgiving, I changed my mind and bought 3 pounds of chicken breast for only $8. So, I happy to report, I saved a turkey this year.

I love pot pie! It's seriously one of my favorite meals - my mom makes a mean pot pie. I'm not the greatest cook, but I pulled it off after about 75 calls to my mom. Not sure how she managed to cook her own dinner with my calling every 12 seconds. It was lots of work - but it turned out to be delicious. Dinner was accompanied by a roasted squash salad with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette, green bean casserole (another classic) and a walnut pie (thanks Sean).


Look at this masterpiece! 

Hope your holidays are off to a good start! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

Monday (11/12)
Walk 3.0 miles

Tuesday (11/13)
Nike Training Club
Walk 6.5 miles

Wednesday (11/14)
Walk 4.0 miles

Thursday (11/15)
Nike Training Camp
Walk: 4.5 miles

Friday (11/16)
Woo, 2 trips to the gym. Good run in the morning, and back again to blow off some steam in the evening.
Treadmill: 3.76 miles / 34:29 mi, plus 1/4 mile cool down
Treadmill: 4.25 miles / 39:04, plus 1/2 mile cool down

Saturday (11/17)
Gym: Tough Mudder workout #2

Coming Soon: Turkey Day 5K on Thursday! Gobble Gobble!

US Half Marathon Recap

Wow, this post is long overdue - I mean the race was only 2 weeks ago. Where does time go?!

I had the pre-race jitters / extreme excitement the night before the race. Daylight savings time started and I was up to see the 1 o'clock hour happen twice - freaky! Regardless of being up late, I woke up at 5:30 feeling rested and ready to run.


Ready...set...


Go! (such a dork)!

Probably one of my favorite things about this race, was that the start was in Aquatic Park - a quick 1 mile walk from my apartment. This meant no dealing with busses or cabs at the crack of dawn. The husband was up until about 3AM playing video games (men!), but was nice enough to wake up early and walk me to the race start (ahh).

I got to Aquatic Park a few minutes before 6:30 and the sun was already rising. The weather was beautiful, but I knew we were in for a scorcher. As much as I LOVE the indian summers here, I would have preferred for it to go away until Monday. I'm used to running in 60ish degree weather, not 75ish degrees. Also, fog would've been nice - not a fan of running in direct sunlight, I'm kind of a vampire like that. Runners in San Francisco are seriously spoiled - almost perfect running weather year round, I can't really complain.


Sunrise

Compared to The Giant Race, I felt like this race was much more organized  I easily found the start line and didn't have to deal with confusing corrals and funky start times - guess that's the advantage of a fairly small race.

The race was set to start at 7:00, I think it started about 10 minutes late. Had to remember to pace my self, i tend to run my fist few miles pretty quick. I was happy to see that my first mile was 9:23, not too fast, not too slow. My goal was to be around 10:00 min miles - BUT someone didn't really look at the course map and the hills, my god, the hills. I mean, I knew we were climbing up to the Golden Gate Bridge, but really, I had no idea we were so many hills on that route. Also, to my surprise the bridge...the bridge is not flat? Say what?! I think dying my hair blonde for the last year really killed some brain cells. What was I thinking?


Look at this chart - up, down, up, down, up, up, up! 

So I'm complaining a lot about the hills, but in all seriousness the course was beautiful! I managed to rip my arm band off and snap a quick pic as I was getting on to the bridge


oooh ah! 

Once getting across the bridge there was a nice little path downhill, but what goes down, must go up...wait. And so the job up the hill began...again, and then back across the bridge. I remember thinking, get me off this #$%& bridge. And then it was over. Did I mention it was really hot out! Well it was. 


Mile 10 (I'm in blue) Thumbs up! 
Photo compliments of a nice spectator that posted to flickr

I was feeling surprisingly good around mile 10, maybe it was the Gu kicking in. My pace picked up for the next 2 miles, which felt great. I was thinking maybe I can PR. But then I hit a wall, the heat was getting to me, I had some hot spots in my shoes, and really - who puts a hill in mile 12. Sigh. I could see the finish line and I gave one last burst of energy to get me through the finish. 


Mile splits

Sadly, I didn't PR. I blame the hills. But I have a 2nd race under my belt. Woo hoo! I collected my medal and awesome new water bottle. The race didn't want to waste thousands of plastic water bottles, so they gave everyone a wicked red reusable bottles and had filling stations just past the finish line. Love this green city! 


Notice red bottle. And that sweet medal around my neck. 


Close up! Take a look at that puppy. 

My awesome hubby was waiting at the finish. I saw him in the stands, he missed my finished, but I was super happy to see him watching for me. 

Finish Time: 2:18:48
Pace: 10:36/mi


After the race I was famished. So naturally, we went to IHOP. All the mom and pop places were crowded, but IHOP, not so bad. I even brought a towel so my sweaty bum wouldn't be sitting directly on the chair. How polite of me. Thankfully, they didn't sit anyone really close to us. I mean, I reached out to take a sip of my chocolate milk and got a whiff of a man who hadn't showered in weeks...oh, wait...that was me. Gross. 


Fruit Crepe...YUM!

I tried to eat healthy, but honestly, I was hungry like 20 minutes later. I had the munchies all day long. So I had my hubby bring me snacks on the couch, while I relaxed with my feet up in compression socks. 


Look at those nasty tan lines. 

Whew! Long post. Hope you made it through. Until next time...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

Monday (11/5)
Walk: 3.0 miles

Tuesday (11/6)
Boot Camp at 24 Hour Fitness has been renamed to Nike Training Camp. Good times!
Walk 4.8 miles

Wednesday (11/7)
Walk 2.0 miles

Thursday (11/8)
Nike Training Camp
Walk 3.0 miles

Friday (11/9)
Hubby was out with friends. Came home to find my bro-in-law sitting on my couch watching TV. Can you say creeper? JK. He said he was headed to the gym, I had plans to clean the bath tub. Upon invite, I gladly accepted, I mean, really, who wants to clean the bathroom. Not me.

Gym:
Standing Lunges: 45# Bar, 5 sets of 5
Leg Press: 135#, 5 sets of 12
Calf Press: 135#, 5 sets of 12
Barbell Chest Press: 45-56# (woah), 5 sets of 5-8
Dumbell Curls: 10#, 5 sets of 10
V-Grip Tricep Extensions: 45-65#, 5 sets of 10
Bicep Curls: 45#, 5 sets of 8

Walk: 3.0 miles

Saturday (11/10)
Can you say TOUGH MUDDER. 4 month countdown has begun, and so has the training!

Gym:
Treadmill warmup: 1.25 miles
Box Jumps: 3 minutes
Side Jumps: 4 sets of 16
40 Push Ups
Chin Ups (assisted): 8 / 4 / 16 on the cheater machine
Lat pull downs: 50#, 3 sets of 10
Incline chest press: ~30#, 3 sets of 12

Walk: 3.0 miles

Sunday (11/11)
REST, duh!

Walk: 2.0 miles

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

Monday (10/29) - Uh again, didn't make it out of bed on vacation to do any kind of workout. If I knew this was going to happen I could've brought smaller luggage. I'm cursed with big feet, do you know how much space those Nike's took up in my bag?

Tuesday (10/30) - Again...does walking through the airport count?

Wednesday (10/31) - Finally, back on track. Was surprised how well this run went after a week off. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for the rain, so I walked my butt to the gym and ran on the treadmill.

Treadmill Run: 4.52 miles / 43:05
City Walking: 3.0 miles

Thursday (11/1) - Last run before the race. Felt good to be outside again.

Ran Outside: 4.0 miles / 37:38
City Walking: 2.0 miles

Friday (11/2) - Resting up for the big race

City Walking: 5 miles

Saturday (11/3) - Resting up

City Walking: 2 miles

Sunday (11/4) - US Half Marathon! Holy Hills! I didn't think it would be that much work to get up and over the bridge and back. I think at least 50% of the race was up hill, or that's what it felt like. I didn't set a PR, but I guess I'm happy with my finish time.

Ran Outside: 13.1 miles / 2:18:48

Total
Running: 21.62
City Walking: 12.0


Saturday, November 3, 2012

US Half Marathon Expo

Tomorrow is the big day, it's only my second half marathon. I'm really excited - the weather is looking to be gorgeous and who wouldn't want to run over the Golden Gate Bridge and look out over the Bay.

This race has it going on - their website, Facebook page and emails have made being a participant easy. I've been able to find all the info I need, I'm hoping tomorrow goes just a smoothly.

The expo was being held today at the Sports Basement in the Presidio from 10A-6PM. I love this store, but the city buses don't get you all that close to the store. Lucky for us runners, the race arranged for shuttles to take us to and from the expo. The shuttles were easy to find and were running on time. I scored a seat on the first shuttle at 10 this morning.

The expo was set up in the back of the store and was easy to navigate. I was able to pick up my race number and tee with ease - then there was plenty of time to explore all the vendor booths. I picked up some great goodies - vendors included Honest Tea, Zico, Clif, Lara Bar, The North Face, 5-hour energy and a few others. There were also booths promoting upcoming races including: Turkey Day 5K (which I will be participating in), See Jane Run and the Grapes of Rock Half Marathon.


Here's some of the treats I brought home. Yum!


And of course the race tee. This is an awesome shirt, it's made by Greenlight Apparel. The shirt is super soft and they are a company committed to social and environmental responsibility. Also, the race bib has my name on it, pretty neat. They also had the option to customize, but I couldn't think of anything clever at the time - so they just put my name in. 


My favorite part of the expo was getting 15% off my purchase at Sports Basement today. I found a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 15s - they usually retail at about $100, but they were marked down to $65, plus I got the 15% discount. I've been looking for a second pair of shoes to run with, so I was excited to get such a sweet deal. I've read a lot about these shoes on SkinnyRunner's blog, and can't wait to start running with them next week. 


Well, that's all I've got today. I'll post an update tomorrow with the race results! Hoping to finish in 2:10:00 or less. We'll see what happens. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello November!

So it's been a few days...okay, more like a week and some days. I was on vacation in Michigan. I had every intention of running while on vacation and even had plans to make a post or two. But you know how it is...sleeping in until 9:30 every day just sounded so much more fun.

I'm back in the Bay Area and it's already November, and that mean's my race is just 3 days away! I caught up on a few runs since being back, hope my week off doesn't affect my overall performance. I'm pretty excited about this race, the course looks pretty awesome! And the weather is supposed to be pretty amazing on Sunday, 73! Can't beat that.

I'll follow up in a few days with a recap on the expo and race.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

Monday (10/22) - Instead of doing my regular morning run, I decided to check out a Fun Run with Sports Basement. I don't have a lot of friends that are into running, so I thought this would be a good way to meet some local runners. The run was short and fast and I met some new people. Hoping to make this a regular part of my routine.

Ran Outside: 3.2 miles / didn't track time
City Walking: 4.0 miles

Tuesday (10/23) - Had a lot going on this week - so I skipped my workout today.

City Walking: 5.5 miles

Wednesday (10/24) - Gearing up for vacation, had to get in a good run.

Ran Outside: 5.5 miles / 53:23

Thursday (10/25) - Does walking through the airport and sleeping on a plane count as a workout? Maybe I walked enough to counter out the peanuts on the plane.

Friday - Sunday (10/26-10/28) - Well I brought my running shoes with me to Detroit, but I haven't used them yet...

Total
Running: 8.7 miles
Walking: 9.5 miles

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco

Short and sweet afternoon post...

Have you heard the news?! The Rock n' Roll Marathon (half) is coming to San Francisco in 2013. It was announced today that The US Half "The Other Half" Marathon is NOW the Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon. (Read the news for yourself here).

I'm running the US Half Marathon in 2 weeks and have been contemplating signing up for the US Half Marathon 2 in the Spring - guess there will be no more contemplating - this is going in my 2013 lineup. I've wanted to participate in a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon since it was introduced in Arizona years ago - long before I started running - it just sounds really cool.

Have you run a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon? Did you like it? Are there any races you would love to run?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

Monday (10/15) - gah! what a slow start - but hey, atleast I managed to roll out of bed

Ran Outside - 4.5 miles / 43:54
City Walking - 2.0 miles

Tuesday (10/16) - dragged myself out of bed to make it to Nike Training Club at the gym. Got to class and the teacher didn't show up! Total bummer! A buddy from class and I decided since we were already at the gym, we might as well stay and do something. We spent about 30 minutes on the treadmill and then made a pathetic attempt to recreate some boot camp moves - mainly we worked on abs and triceps.

Ran on Treadmill - 3.19 miles / 30:01
Abs & Triceps
City Walking - 4.0 miles

Wednesday (10/17) - well I didn't really get out of bed, so I just walked to/from work/school.

City Walking - 3.5 miles

Thursday (10/18) - Second attempt of the week for Nike Training Club. Luckily the substitute instructor showed up this time. Not as good as the regular instructor, but got a rockin' core workout. Gotta love the planks!

City Walking - 4.7 miles

Friday (10/19) - Yay, my favorite day of the week. Forgot my headphones at work, so this was my first real run with no music. I was surprised at how well it went. I didn't get bored or have any crazy fights with my mind, it was quite a nice run.

Ran Outside - 5.14 miles / 50:15
City Walking - 6.5 miles

Saturday (10/20)- my long runs used to be on Sunday - but think Saturday is the better day. Tried running again without music, I think it's growing on me. Made it 9 miles in silence, then turned on Pandora so I could pound out the last few miles.

Ran Outside - 10.94 miles / 1:50:17
City Walking - 1.5 miles

Sunday (10/21) - just some light city walking

City Walking - 1.5 miles


Total
Runs: 23.77 miles
Walking: 23.7 miles


Monday, October 15, 2012

Granola Goodness

I've had a productive evening - not only did I do a load of laundry and some homework, but I also whipped up some homemade granola bars - yum!

I found the recipe on allrecipes.com - don't you just love this site?

Ingredients:

2-ish cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I cut this down to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup wheat germ (I substituted 1/4 cup flax seed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (I cut this down to about 1/8 cup and also added mini choc chips)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I cut this to 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup honey
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins, chocolate chips and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow bars to cool completely before cutting otherwise they will get hard and you'll be cursing yourself as you try and cut the little buggers into pieces.

This recipe is a good one for experimenting - lots of opportunities to make substitutes or additions. Next time I may try added chopped almond or banana chips, and maybe use some cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips. Also, thinking about switching to whole wheat flour, but gotta kill the what seems to be life time supply of all purpose flour before I go buying new stuff.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekly Workout Summary

This week had some ups and downs, but I felt really good about my workouts. Tuesday was overall a crappy day and Thursday and Friday I was traveling for work - but even on my trip I was able to get in a good run (a really boring treadmill run, but still good).

Overall, my goal this week was to up my training for the upcoming half marathon that is now just a short 3 weeks away. I didn't make it to either of my bootcamp classes at the gym, but I hit my goal of running 25 miles. On each of my runs, I tried to focus on pace and work extra hard on the hill climbs.

Since I live in the city, I do a lot of walking. Walk to work, lunch, stores, the movies, etc. I try and keep track of how much I walk each day and mark it on my calendar in addition to my regular workouts.

Sunday 10/7
City Walking: 4.5 miles

Monday 10/8
Ran Outside: 5.04 miles / 48:31
City Walking: 2 miles

Tuesday: 10/9
City Walking: 4.5 miles

Wednesday: 10/10
Ran Outside: 5.01 miles / 47:23
City Walking: 2.5

Friday: 10/12
Ran on Treadmill: 5.01 / 49:33 (this was a really boring run!)
City Walking: 2 miles

Saturday: 10/13
Ran Outside: 10.26 miles / 1:42:33
City Walking: 2 miles

Total
Runs: 25.32 miles
Walking: 17.5 miles



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Starry Morning

Although it was 6:15 when I started my run this morning, the stars were still out when my feet hit the pavement. It's always a pain dragging myself out of bed so early, even though I know the reward of a good workout is waiting - and today the reward was great.

I think the dark skies calmed me down a bit this morning. My last few runs have been a real struggle, but this morning I was able to turn my mind off. And if you know anything about me - you would know that is just hard for me to do. I always have something to talk about, something to think about, something to worry about, etc. But man, it feels good to shut your brain off once in a while. It was exactly what I needed.

Work has been really slow the last few days and I hate, hate being bored at work. I hate being bored in general. In addition to the work thing, I got some undesired family news yesterday. The news wasn't horrible, but it was just the thing to throw my mood over the edge. I decided to skip my evening class at school and go home and eat tacos and ice cream. Not that delicious homemade guacamole (thank you husband) or ice cream made my problems go away, but it was a nice coverup.

Where was I...tacos...mind, oh yes -turning off my mind, clearly I am easily distracted cause I haven't gotten to the part where turning off my mind really helped my workout.

For the first time in a while, I feel like I was really able to focus on my run. I was able to maintain my pace the entire run - I may have even pulled off a negative split! Granite it was a short run, but I'm usually adding minutes, not taking away seconds to the last half of my run. Around mile 3.5 a crazy thing happened - my music turned off (okay, so maybe not that crazy of a thing). Instead of fiddling with my phone, I just let it be. That was the first time I've run sans music - and I found it quite enjoyable. Living in a noise polluted city, I found it refreshing to listen to the quiet morning. It also allowed me to really listen to my body and my breathing (panting) - I think this is what allowed me to pick up my pace towards the end of the run. My mind and body were running as one. Hopefully I can keep this up.

I thought I had something else I was going to say, but I seem to have forgotten. Probably best, I'm all sweaty now and should probably take a shower so I can leave for work in an hour.

Workout Details:

Ran Outside
5.01 miles / 47:23

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Battle of the Mind

I was hoping to get in 9-10 miles this morning, but my run this morning was a battle of the mind. I was feeling good the first 4-5 miles. At mile 4 I was running into the fog by the bridge, it was awesome. But then shortly after taking in that beautiful view I hit a wall. I didn't just hit it, I went crashing into it.

My mind and body were not synched and I was completely distracted. I wish I could say I was distracted by all the beautiful sailors and Marines hanging out near Crissy Field - but really, all the distractions were in my head.

I started doubting that I can actually run far. I've already proved to myself that I can run far, but my body just wasn't listening today.

Another thing going on in my head - runner's envy. Do you ever get runner's envy? San Francisco has a great community of runners - at any given time of the day you can pass by dozens of other runners. As my body and mind were duking it out, I got a case of runner's envy. Look at that group, they're running so fast - man, that guy makes running look so easy - wow, look at her legs, when will I have legs like that? Blah blah blah.

To mix things up, I decided to switch my route home. This was probably the best decision I made during the run. Mile 8 was pretty much all down hill which allowed me to pick up some speed and finish strong.

I didn't quite hit my goal for the day, but really, how can you be disappointed when you can say you ran 9 miles on a Saturday morning before breakfast. Also, check out this amazing view.



Workout Details:

Ran Outside
8.92 miles / 1:29:27

Friday, September 28, 2012

Training for Race #2

Things got a little busy after race day, so I took 12 days off of running - thus leaving just 5 short weeks until race number 2.  

This run was full of ups and downs. It was great to be outside again! I noticed the weather has changed alot over the course of two weeks, it was really dark at 6AM but I got to see dawn breaking over the Bay which was amazingly beautiful. I tried to snap some pics, but the iPhone did not do this picturesque scene any justice. 


After jogging (not running) around the pier I had to make it over the dreaded hill - it was pretty much doing a slow shuffle and completely winded by the time I got to the top. I think this run consisted of way too much walking to actually be considered a run.

Hope the next few runs go a little better than this!

Workout Details:

Ran Outside
3.81 miles / 35:24

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pics from the Giant Race

Clearly pumped up for my first race! Thanks Em (sister) for waking up at the butt crack of dawn to take this amazing picture of me! 


 Post race pic behind AT&T park, overlooking the San Francisco Bay!


 My husband refusing to pose with me. Possibly it was the post race smell I was emitting. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Run Stephanie, Run!

In 2011 I made it my new year's resolution to run a half marathon. Mind you, I am not a runner. I played basketball for a few years in high school, but have never really run. Well 2011 came and went and needless to say, I did not run a half marathon, nor even attempt to run one. So...in 2012, I told myself, this will be the year I run a half marathon. My overall resolution for the year was to get fit and commit to a healthier lifestyle. I got married in July, so that was excellent motivation for months of gym going. Once the wedding came and went I needed a new project, so I signed up for my first half marathon and 2 weeks ago I accomplished my now almost 2-year old resolution.

I spent a few months training, gradually upping my mileage and hitting new goals and milestones. One day I ran 5 miles and I was like "wow", I've never done that before, then it was 6, 7...10, 11. Each week I grew stronger and more confident in my abilities - what a good feeling! Another great thing about training is that I really got to know my city. I've lived in San Francisco for nearly 3 years and I was starting to see things I've never seen before - things that I walk by every day and have never noticed. It gave me a new appreciation for this beautiful city I live in.

Yesterday I ran in the Giant Race in San Francisco. 13.1 miles complete! I started on strong and was at a good pace to meet my finishing goal of 2:10:00. But man, around mile 10 I think I smacked into a block wall. Where did the fog go? Why is the sun so bright? How can 65 degrees be so hot? My legs hurt? I saw people starting to walk and I kept making a deal with myself, make it to mile 11 and you can take a break. Seriously, you made it to mile 11, are you gonna give in now? Mile 12, you're so close. OMG, mile 12 why are you so long? Then I'm there, I'm so close, so tired, but so close. I give it all I have and then it happens, I cross the finish line. Holy S%$T! I just finished a half marathon. The high you get from finishing is incredible - and to top it all off - I get a medal. Oh, my finishing time, can't forget about that. I finished in 2:13:12. So I was just over 3 minutes shy of my goal, but to set such a high goal and come that close on my first try, that felt pretty incredible. I'm so proud of what I was able to accomplish in a few short months. I was not born a runner, but I can be a runner.

So now I'm hooked. I signed up for my 2nd half marathon in November - and I'm already looking into 2013 schedules. This is just the beginning of my journey and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you - people of the world.