Sunday, May 5, 2013

April Recap + May Goals

April was fantastic - new PR, birthday, Hawaii honeymoon! However, all that fun left very little time for blog managing. Hoping I can start fresh in May and keep the posts coming.

April Goals in Review

+ Run 100 miles - Wrapped the month up at 90. While I ran on vacation, I only put in the minimal effort. 
+ Add more cross training workouts (I haven't been to boot camp in 5 weeks - my longest hiatus since I started going in the Fall of 2011, yikes!) - definitely didn't happen. I was planning to go to spin class Monday mornings, but it's been so long, that Monday morning classes have actually been dropped. oops. 
+ Continue vegetarian exploration - this has been going great. Had to "cheat" a little in Hawaii since we were eating every meal out, but since being home, I'm back on track. 
+ Pump out race recaps for Tough Mudder, Emerald Across the Bay 12K, Canyon Meadow Half Marathon and the upcoming Rock n' Roll SF Half - Uhhhh, didn't happen. Another busy month
+ Commit to at least 2 blog posts per week - Way behind on posts. Going to try and play catch up in May.

Rock 'n' Roll SF Half Marathon
This race was incredible. Not only did I set a new course PR, but an overall PR. I think I was living on cloud9 for most of April.

Run Streak
Run Streak is going strong, I'm now at over 150 days. Not sure when or if this will end, but for now it feels good, so I'm going to keep it going.

May Goals

Keeping goals simple for this month, so that I can check them off at the end of the month. This month is going to be busy again. Luckily my classes end in 3 weeks, so that will clear up 2 nights a week plus extra hours spent doing homework.

+ Run 100 miles
+ Cross Train 1x week
+ Look into marathon training plans
+ Blog more

What do you have planned for May? 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dreams and Prayers for Boston

I woke up this morning not dreading the fact that it was Monday, but excited because it was Boston Marathon day. It's like a national holiday for runners. I've only been running for a year, but it doesn't take long for a runner to start dreaming of the day they will make it to Boston. It's been on my bucket list for quite some time.

I spent my walk to work this morning with my head down, refreshing my twitter stream every 12 seconds to see the latest updates from the race and dreaming of the day I would get to be there. So many inspiring stories, so many talented runners. I could feel the energy even though I was thousands of miles away.

Then at lunch, I read the horrible news and felt my heart breaking. Runners train for months, even years to make it to Boston, and what happened today was unimaginable.

My heart goes out to the City of Boston, the runners, spectators and volunteers affected. This is truly a sad day for the running community.

Tomorrow's run will be for Boston.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

Couldn't ask for a better end to my week. I ran the Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon today and it was nothing short of Amazingggg! 

Another week come and gone and my ass didn't get out of bed for spin class. Surely one day it will happen! I checked the weather when I woke up and it said 30% chance of rain, I walked out the door and it was 100% raining. I decided to go with it and it turned out to be an excellent and very wet run. 

Ran Outside: 2.09 miles
Walk: 4.0 miles

Weekday runs have been a little low on mileage, but decided I would start increasing my daily effort. 

Ran Outside: 4.07 miles
Walk: 4.0 miles

Had planned on doing a longer tempo run this morning, but really had no desire to move from my warm I just did a short maintenance run. 

Ran Outside: 2.21 miles
Walk: 4.0 miles

The rain came back, so decided to head over to the gym to meet up with my friend Mr. Treadmill. Did somewhat of a tempo run.

Ran Outside: 4.0 miles
Walk: 1.0 miles

This marked the 4th Friday of doing a speed workout. I've been looking forward to Friday's (not that you need a reason to look forward to Friday) because I know this workout is coming. I think the speed workouts are starting to make a difference. 

Ran on Treadmill: 5.5 miles (warm up 1.0m @10:00; 4 sets Fartlek 5:00 @ 9:05/mi, 3:00 jog; cool down 1.0m @ 10:00)
Walk: 4.0 miles

Slept in and then spent some quality time with my sister - thus putting off my run until the end of the day. Thought I'd keep it simple - ran to the start/finish line of the race and then home. 

Ran Outside: 2.09 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Rock 'n' Roll inaugural San Francisco Half Marathon. Spoiler alert...I PR'd! If you asked me Friday morning if I thought/planed on PR'ing, I would have said no way in hell. But then I talked to this amazing lady, Sherry, at the expo and the U.S. 50K record holder Josh Cox and I was inspired. Long story short, I shaved 18 minutes off my previous course record (from November's US Half Marathon) and beat my Kaiser Half Marathon time by 50 seconds! Oh and not to mention, I was only 19 seconds off of a sub-2 hour! So close! Ahhhhhh, on Cloud 9 today. 

Ran Outside: 13.1 miles (2:00:18)
Walk 1.0 mile

Other Noteworthy Things: 
Completed week 2 of my vegetarian journey. I feel like I could still make better choices, I didn't bring my lunch much last week, so settled for some crappy food options. 

The countdown is on...2 weeks from today I'll be hanging out in Hawaii! So excited! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Recap + April Goals

Life has been crazy these past few months and is hardly showing any sign of letting up. March was a great month - I missed doing a post about March goals last month, so don't have anything to compare against.

Emerald Across the Bay 12K
Race was on the morning of St. Patrick's Day - couldn't ask for a better spring morning. The course was challenging, but gorgeous.

Canyon Meadow Trail Half Marathon
Signed up for this on a whim. I'd never run on a trail prior to this - but it was amazing. I took my time and enjoyed the experience. Also, this is the longest I've run sans music - it was quite enjoyable.

Run Streak
I hit a huge milestone in my run streak - 100 days! I don't really know where I'm taking this streak, but I ended the month by hitting 122 days. May be time to lock me up, I might be going crazy.

Monthly Mileage
The most miles I've run in a month, ever! 119 miles in 31 days. That averages out to about 3.8 miles a day. Not too shabby

Veggie Monster
A few weekends ago, the hubby and I were watching a documentary about food - this always leads to bad things, right? Anyways, they showed horrible, horrible things that are done to farm animals being raised for food. I cried! And then decided to cut meat out of my life. I decided at minimum, I would challenge myself for 10 days. Well I'm on day 11 and so far, it hasn't been too bad. Actually it's probably easier than I anticipated. I can see myself being about 99% vegetarian - there may be times where I need to indulge in the occasional burger.

April Goals

+ Run 100 miles
+ Add more cross training workouts (I haven't been to boot camp in 5 weeks - my longest hiatus since I started going in the Fall of 2011, yikes!)
+ Continue vegetarian exploration
+ Pump out race recaps for Tough Mudder, Emerald Across the Bay 12K, Canyon Meadow Half Marathon and the upcoming Rock n' Roll SF Half
+ Commit to at least 2 blog posts per week

So many good things to look forward to this month. April is my FAVORITE month - seeing as it's the month of my birth! The hubs and I are also going on our honeymoon (finally)! We are going to Hawaii! SO EXCITED! In the 4.5 years we've been together, this will be our first solo vacation that doesn't include; visiting parents, siblings, friends, families, weddings, holidays.

Looking forward to a great month. More posts coming your way soon!

What are your goals for April? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

Another good week on the books. Can't believe March is already over! It's okay though, April is my favorite month.

Still couldn't drag myself out of bed to get to spin class. I will make it one of these days!! Since I ran a half on Sunday, I decided to use today as rest day and put in the bare minimum effort. 

Ran Outside: 1.03 miles
Walk: 2.5 miles

Felt a sinus cold coming on (again), blah! Kept this run pretty light, but did some arm exercises with my 8lb weights after the run. 

Ran Outside: 2.12 miles
Walk: 3.0 miles

Trying out this new program on and today's workout was a threshold run. I went to the gym for this run so I could control my speed on the treadmill. 

Ran on Treadmill: 3.65 miles
Walk: 3.5 miles

Thursday's seem to be pretty boring days. Nothing exciting to report here. I ran. 

Ran Outside: 3.04 miles
Walk: 1.5 miles

Third Friday doing my speed workout on the treadmill. As if there aren't a million reasons to look forward to Friday, this is a bonus. It's a challenging workout that usually wipes me out, but leaves me feeling accomplished. Next week, I'm going to have a little nutrition pre workout - I started running out of steam at mile 4. 

Ran on Treadmill: 5.0 miles
Walk: 3.0 miles

Long run Saturday. I thought about going into the double digits, but I didn't want to overdue it - seeing as I have 2 half marathons in a 3 week time span. I think I'm ready for Rock n' Roll on the 7th. 

Ran Outside: 8.17 miles
Walk: 2.5 miles

Unfortunately this was a pretty uneventful day, despite being a holiday. It was another rainy Easter in San Francisco. I waited until late afternoon to knock out my run and I hurried through, almost setting a 5K record...almost since I only ran 3.0 miles instead of 3.1 (24:30)

Ran Outside: 3.0 miles
Walk 1.0 mile

Other Noteworthy Things: 
I made it a full week as a vegetarian - Sunday actually marked day 9. It's easier than I would've thought. Just have to monitor my protein and iron intake, but that'll get better with practice. It's April - my favorite month of the year. Mostly because it's my birthday month! And we are going to Hawaii for our honeymoon! Lots of good stuff to look forward to. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

Time has been going by so fast, I can hardly keep up. Hoping that I'll get some time to breath come April! Here's a recap of my workouts last week.

My goal was to start implementing a spin class once a week. This would normally take place Monday mornings at 6:00. However, on this particular Monday, sleeping sounded soooo much better. So around 6:40, I dragged myself out of bed and to the gym. I knocked out a slow mile on the treadmill and then spent about 15 minutes on a stationary bike....regretting the fact that I slept in and missed out on a better workout! 

Ran on Treadmill: 1.0 miles
Bike: 15 minutes / 3 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Again, could not bear to drag myself out of bed before sun up (I blame the time change, this spring forward sh*t is really kicking my butt)! This being said, I ended up doing an evening the rain. Which actually turned out to be quite refreshing

Ran Outside: 2.8 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Legs were feeling really tired this morning, so my run was more of a slow jog, probably better known as a shuffle. One foot in front of the other. 

Ran Outside: 3.0 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Nothing particularly awesome to note here. My run was good. 

Ran Outside: 3.1 miles
Walk: 3.0 miles

When I signed up for Bay to Breakers, I got a free trial subscription to I was able to put together a plan for a future race and I got a pretty cool training calendar out of it. As of last week, I'll now be dedicating Friday's to "track" (speed) workouts on the treadmill. We'll see how it goes. 

Ran on Treadmill: 4.5 miles
Walk: 3.0 miles

Kept this run pretty light since I had a race the next day. My sister has been getting more into running, so she tagged along with me for this run. 

Ran on Outside: 3.0 miles
Walk: 1.0 mile

A few weeks ago, my running club put out an email about an upcoming trail race. I've never run trails, but I thought it would be a great race to "try it out" and it would be a good excuse to get out of the city for half a day. The race was pretty low key, but had some serious runners - the course offerings were 5 mile, half marathon, 30K, marathon and 50K! Being a newbie to the trails, naturally I picked the half marathon. Since this was my first trail music, I decided to take it a lot slower than a road race and take time to enjoy the scenery. The course was beautiful and pretty challenging. I mean, there's nothing like a 500 foot climb in the first mile!! 

Ran Outside: 13.1 miles

Other noteworthy things:

This is the highest mileage week I've had to date - and is shaping up to be my highest mileage month ever.

On Friday, I watched a documentary called "Vegucated" - I was pretty much mortified and decided that I should become a vegetarian, immediately. I tend to have a flare for the dramatic and jump into things head I decided the rational thing was to do a trial run. I challenged myself to go 10 days without meat - I'm at the end of day 3 and so far, no problems. I'm not a big fan of red meat or seafood, so really I only need to wean myself off chicken and turkey. If all continues to go well, I plan to keep this going.

It has been 9 days since my last soda. I'm a lover of diet dr. pepper and hearing the crack of a soda can makes my mouth water (terrible, I know). I've tried to quit - ween myself off of the fake-sugary, brown, bubbly goodness several times...once I even went a month, but I've never been able to make it stick. I always relapse and then, next thing I know I'm drinking a soda every day. We'll see how long I can make it this time around.

The countdown is one month I'll be in Hawaii! Gotta get this bod ready for the beach!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chinese New Year 10K Recap

Life has been crazy busy lately and time has been going by at warp speed. This is literally the first chance I've really had in a month to sit down and blog. On top of this race recap, I still owe you a recap on the Tough Mudder and this weekend's latest race, Emerald Across the Bay 12K. But to get us started, here is the race recap for the Chinese New Year 10K from February.

I did this race on a whim - literally, decided on a Thursday to sign up for the Sunday race. Figured it would be a good last effort heading into Tough Mudder the following week.

The Chinatown YMCA Chinese New Year Run raised funds for the YMCA's youth and teen programs. This year's race specifically benefited the Physical Education Program which serves more than 1,600 youth and teens from Chinatown and surrounding San Francisco neighborhoods.

The race is smaller than most that I've participated in over the past few months. Between the 5K walk/run and the 10K there were only about 1,500 participants.

The race was on Sunday, February 17th. The start line was in the heart of Chinatown - a nice 15 minute walk from my apartment. Can't beat a race that's so close to home.

Pre race self portrait

Race start in Chinatown

The race started promptly at 8:00 - it was a brisk morning, but turned out to be perfect racing weather. The 10K route was 2 loops around the 5K route. It was nice to run down some new street and some regular streets - like my street. I told my sister to be outside at 8:10 - but she decided sleep was more important -so I made sure to give her a wake up call for round 2. On my second lap she was outside in her pajamas and snapped this lovely pic. 

Having lots of fun, clearly

I thought I was looking cool in my pink argyle ProCompression socks - but my sister said they give me flamingo legs! Despite her comment - I love them! 

I was running a pretty decent pace and managed to finish strong. After the race there was a small, but well done expo. The swag bags were also pretty awesome too - my favorite part was that the bags were paper. So green! 

Expo tents

Swag - Dasani Water, Hint Flavored Water, hand sanitizer 
AND a $10 Macy's gift card among other things

Perks of running a small race is that you look good when you get the results. 

I finished 86th overall and 7th for my age group (F18-29). If I finished 90 seconds faster I would've placed in the top 3. This probably won't happen again for another 29 years or until the next year of the snake. 

Final time: 53:39
Pace: 8:39

This race was low key and really fun. I would definitely do it again. I'm on the lookout for more small races like this! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

100 Days of Running

I pulled out my computer about an hour ago so I could start writing this post. Why does the internet facebook have to be so distracting. Doesn't it know I'm trying to get things done?

Today was a huge milestone in my short, but sweet running career. Today marked the 100th day of my runstreak. You heard read that right. I have run (1+ miles) every day for the last 100 days. My journey started on Thanksgiving. I woke up that morning and ran a 5K - it felt great to be active on a day that's synonymous with stuffing your face. Later that day, I saw a feed on twitter mentioning the Runner's World #Runstreak. It was a challenge to run everyday from Thanksgiving to New Year's. I thought that was a cool challenge and I would give it a go. Things were going great, then on the 4th day, I got the stomach flu. Gross! After I was feeling better I decided I would start over and challenge myself to run every day in the month of December. I still felt this would be a challenge, with all the holiday madness and delicious baked goods lurking around every corner - it would be good to stay active. 

Well New Year's came and went and I thought - oh if I go another 8 days I'll hit 40. The on day 40 I was like, you're soooo close to 50, let's try for that. And now here we are on day 100! I am proud of this accomplish - there are very few things I can say that I have done consecutively for any amount of time, you know, except the essentials; eating, sleeping, showering, etc.

I have learned a lot on my 100 day journey. I feel it's definitely made me a stronger runner. I've learned to listen to my body - if it's tired or sore, I take it easy and only run a mile. If I'm feeling good (like today) I push myself a little harder. I've also learned that there is always time to do something for yourself, no matter how busy life may be. 

I'm not sure if I'm going to give up the streak or keep it going. Just going to go day by day and see where I end up. I've done some research and there are runners out there who have been running daily for years, decades even! I think it would be great to go for a year, but we'll see...

Check out my training on dailymile

Also, apologies for not posting for weeks. February was crazy - I owe recaps for the Chinese New Year 10K and Tough Mudder AZ. Hopefully those will come in a few days. 

Do you have a runstreak going? Have you ever done something every day for 100, 50, 20 days?  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon Recap

Wow, this post is long overdue - where did the last 2 weeks go!

This was the 30th annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon run in Golden Gate Park. The run is presented by Pamakid Runners Club. The Pamakid Runners pride themselves on their participation in the local running community. They are runners who put on a race for other runners.

In the few weeks leading up to the race, I found training runs that were being hosted by Pamakids and the Sports Basement. I thought this would be a great way to meet some runners and get in my long runs. I met so many great people on the runs, that I decided to join the Pamakid Runners Club. Go Green!

The day before the race, the Pamakids volunteered for race setup. We met in Golden Gate Park and got in a quick 3 mile run and then got to work. Most of us were put to work stuffing the race goodie bags, it was a good time. (However, slightly disappointed in the thousands of plastic bags being used - so not green!)

All my racing gear laid out

Start time for the race was 8:00AM. The Pamakids group was meeting for warm up and group picture around 6:45. San Francisco is a small city, but getting to Golden Gate Park from my apartment takes about an hour via public transportation - so I talked my favorite brother-in-law to renting a ZipCar and driving me to the park. 

It was a brisk morning, and by brisk I mean, I was really cold hanging out in shorts and a tank top. I checked my gear at the sweat check shortly after 7, so I was bouncing around trying to stay warm for almost an hour.

Kind of a dorky pre-race pic

In the few minutes leading up to the race, the race director made a little speech, the national anthem was sung and to start the race, the cable car bells were rung. The race started on time and I crossed the start line a few minutes after 8. This is the largest race I've participated in so far, so there was a little congestion at the beginning. 

My goal for this race was to PR (which would be anything under 2:13, but I was really hoping for 2:05). The running coach game us some advice seeing as the club had been running this race for the last 30 years. Be conservative miles 1-4, pick up speed down hill mile 5-7 and let the race begin on the Great Highway. I did pretty good following this, my first mile was a slow 10 minutes since there were so many people and I managed to stay fairly conservative until mile 5. 

This course wasn't just beautiful, it was wonderfully flat. I couldn't believe I knocked out 3 sub 8-minute miles in the middle of the race. Even looking at miles 9-12 I was holding pretty steady - I don't think I've run so many consistent consecutive miles before - I was feeling good! 

When I hit mile 12 and saw I was around 1:53ish minutes, I couldn't believe how close I was to the 2 hour mark. I wasn't only going to beat my goal, I was going to crush it! I pushed hard with a 2 hour finish on my mind. About 2/10 of a mile before the finish line I saw my sister and husband there cheering me on (they are my biggest fans). This gave me that extra burst of energy and I took off giving it everything I had. I officially crossed the finish line at 2:01:08! I beat my previous PR by 12 minutes and I was 69 seconds away from a sub 2-hour half! I almost shed a tear. 

I was super proud when I saw that mile 13 was my fastest mile of the race. Pretty sure I was near crawling mile 13 at my race in November. I've come a long way with my training since, I finished feeling a great sense of accomplishment! 

It was also great feeling part of a team. There were 30+ Pamakid Runners and throughout the course, it was great to see someone wearing the same name as you. Occasionally I would pass someone and hear a "Go Green" or "Go Pamakid" and the encouragement always came just when I was looking for a pick-me-up. It was an amazing experience and I'm looking forward to racing more with my new team mates. 

Post race stretch

A little Pro Compression for recovery! 

There was a great post-race expo set up - I snagged some fruit and a delicious bottle of chocolate milk. However, with so many runners and family members it was really crowded and knowing we had to sit on the bus for the next hour we hurried through the expo - so I don't have anything too exciting to note. I did hear lots of great things about the expo though. My friend wore her Mizuno's for the race and ended up scoring some free socks at their booth post race. 

On the walk to the bus, we passed this creepy house 

The bus ride was kind of long. It's funny how in confined spaces you become aware of how much you stink. I mean, really it was quite unpleasant. Thankfully I wasn't the only stinker on the bus and that several runners were choosing public transportation to get home. 

Showing off my rad new medal

So this is it. A third half marathon under my belt in just 5 months! This was by far my favorite course of the 3. The Rock n Roll half marathon in April is going to be a little challenging, lots of hills coming my way. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Caffeine is Calling!

It's that time of day when you need a pick-me-up. For me, that is caffeine...specifically in the form Diet Dr. Pepper. I know, I's so bad for me! But I can't help but love the bubbly goodness. I'm not a coffee or a tea person and I'm not one of those people who need caffeine to function in the morning (that's what my workouts are for).

Over the years I have weened myself off soda significantly, but it's still bad enough that the guy at the liquor store knows me by name....and when I get a sandwich for lunch and don't buy a soda he always says "no diet dr. pepper for you today, Stephanie?" Sigh.

I only have a few sodas a week, but I know that I should kick the habit. I've been reading more and more about "clean eating" lately and I think it's something I want to focus on for the next few months...starting by getting rid of soda and highly processed foods.

I think lent started yesterday and I found a 40-day challenge, I'd be a day off if I sign up now, but maybe getting involved in a challenge is the best way to start. Forty Days of Water

Anyone out there have success with kicking a bad habit? Are you giving up anything for lent?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

Is this really my first post for February? I can't believe it's already the 10th, I'm so far behind! Last week was crazy between work, school, the half marathon last weekend and other things.

Nice and easy run after Sunday's half Marathon. I owe you all a recap of the marathon - I will try and get that up in the next few days.

Boot Camp: 60 min
Ran on Treadmill: 1.01 miles
Walk: 5.5 miles

Another easy day.

Ran Outside: 1.65 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Woke up feeling really run down and like I might be getting a cold. This being said, decided to ditch boot camp and sleep the extra hour and 20 minutes. Ended up going for an evening run in the rain, which I have to say was pretty awesome.

Ran Outside: 1.97 miles
Walk: 2.0 miles

Had a fantastic morning run, only to be followed by a crappy work stuff. Luckily it was my half day at work, so my afternoon was pretty great. I had a hair appointment - which turned out far better than expected followed by a date night with the hubs.

Ran Outside: 4.01 miles
Walk: 4.0 miles

Uh, Tough Mudder is 14 days away! CRAP! After lounging around for the morning, the sister and I hit the gym. We did a light warmup on the treadmill and then got to lifting and other upper body strengthening exercises. I ended up getting in 7 unassisted chin ups (non-consecutive though).

Ran on TM: 1.25 miles

Another day closer to Tough Mudder. Sister and I went for another workout. We ran 1.5 down to the pier, then used the amphitheater to do some stair jumps, push ups and mountain climbers. Then we hit the sand and did partner carries (aka piggy back rides) through the sand on the beach. This went well until we toppled over into the sand in front of a sea of spectators. Clearly they were jealous of our skills!

Ran Outside: 3 miles
Walk: 1.0 mile

Overall this was a light workout week. After running 110 miles last month and kicking ass at the half marathon last week, I needed a little break. I plan to pick things up this week - especially plan to get a lot more lifting in - gotta get the arms beefed up for the Tough Mudder. Can't believe it's so close! Also need to pick up the mileage to meet my 100 miles in 28 days for the Taji 100 challenge.

My goal is to get the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon recap up by Tuesday - be on the lookout.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Recap + February Goals

It's the last day of January. I logged my last run of the month this evening. I thought I was going to get some quality time with the husband by running with him, but I spent the entire 2 miles choking on the trail of dust he was leaving behind.

I don't think I'm made for night time running, I always feel off. But I needed to get in the extra miles to log for #TeamEscapades in the Chilly Challenge.

So let's get to why we're really here. I don't know about you, but 2013 is off to a fantastic start for me. So much good stuff has happened in only 31 days - I can't wait to see what else is in store.

I kept the RunStreak going that I started in December and managed to get in a run every day this month. I ended up logging 110 miles this month! I can hardly believe it.

My 2013 goal is to run 808 miles (doubling what I logged last year). That goal equates to 67 miles a month, which seemed pretty doable. I'd say I totally crushed that! I knocked out 13% of my goal in one month.

In addition to running, I also got back on back on track with my boot camp classes. Although, I took this week off from any strength training and was a little light on the miles since I have the Kaiser Half Marathon on Sunday. But after Sunday, it's back to work, the count down for the Tough Mudder is on - only 24 days!! Crap!

I found the virtual challenges in January to be fun. It was nice to know that their was this virtual community out there working towards similar goals. For February I wanted to see what other challenges I could find. I was happy to find Taji100 benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. There seems to be a theme in February - as the Tough Mudder also benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

So what is Taji100?

The goal is the walk, jog, run, hike or elliptical 100 miles within the 28 days of February. The first Taji 100 was held at former Camp Taji, in Al Taji, Iraq in February 2010. You can find the full story here. You can unofficially join the challenge for free or by making a $20 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, you are officially enrolled and can qualify for the Taji 100 Awards.

In addition to the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon this week, the Tough Mudder later in the month and the Taji 100 challenge I am going to challenge myself to eat healthier. I have the fit part down, but the cupboard full of M&Ms at work calls my name far too many times a day. This month I am going to focus on incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet, bringing my lunch more and lastly drinking more water and cutting out a few sodas. I think I may start keeping a food diary - not a strict one - but just some notes to make me more aware of what I'm stuffing in my face on the daily basis.

Hope your year is off to a rockin start!

What's on your calendar for February? Any big goals?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

Um, how is it already Tuesday night?! Meant to post this Sunday, but was feeling lazy and then I had class last night. So here we are, Tuesday.

Don't you just love 3-day weekends! I feel like Monday was a free day, all my weekend obligations fullfilled and this was an extra day just for me.

Ran Outside: 2 miles
Bikram Yoga: 90 minutes
Plank: 1:09.0
Walk: 2.5 miles

Getting back into my boot camp streak. My foot was kind of bothering me, so I took it easy on the jumping portions - didn't want to accidently land funny and further irritate my foot. After class went over to the treadmill - wasn't quite ready to break my runstreak, but I jumped off less than 3 minutes in. It was not pretty. I was feeling better after work, so made it out for a quickie.

Boot Camp: 60 min
Ran Outside: 1.05 miles
Plank: 1:20.2
Walk: 4.5 miles

Tried to be conservative with the miles this week so as to give my foot a break - without really giving it a break.

Ran Outside: 2.86 miles
Plank: 1:10.1
Walk: 1.5 miles

Wore my compression socks to bed last night, foot was feeling okay in the  morning. Again, tried to skip out on the jumping and crazy agility drills in boot camp. After class went for a slow jog on the treadmill.

Boot Camp: 60 min
Ran on TM: 1.01 miles (10:01/mi)
Plank: 1:02.4

Foot was finally feeling better! Yay! Had a half day from work, so I slept in and saved the run for the afternoon.

Ran Outside: 4.2 miles (9:27/mi)
Walk: 2.5 miles

I joined in the Pamakids / Kieser Training Run through the Sports Basement again. It was a little chilly when I left the house, but once I got running it was gorgeous. The course for this run was different from last week and we ran through Chrissy Field, over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. Heading into Sausalito was great, because there was a great decline, BUT the climb back up to the bridge was pretty brutal. I'm really proud of this run as I actually ran the WHOLE way - even up hill and through the hard parts! So excited for the race next week - I feel a PR coming!

Ran Outside: 11.77 miles (9:41/mi)
Walk: 3 miles

Felt pretty good considering Saturday's run was long and hilly. Got in a short run and spent the rest of the day chillaxing.

Ran Outside: 2.11 miles
Plank: 1:13.6

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January Photo Dump

So I have this thing called an iPhone, I take pictures of everything and never do anything with them, they just sit you have this problem too? Anywho, I decided maybe I should share some of them, so I gathered a few photos from my Tough Mudder workout in the park a few weeks ago and some from my run yesterday.

Weird pull up bar thing...
surely, I looked really cool doing this

Chin Up! 

My sister doing some weird balancing acts


Partner carry (aka piggy back ride)! It was really fun, 
then she showed off and did some squats

Clearly, my sister thought I was going to drop her while taking this pic. 
No worries, I didn't drop her...just that one time

Boats and city scape

Love this view!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Workout Summary

How has half of January come and gone already. 2013 is flying by!! I'm going to try and be more diligent about posting my weekly workouts. I felt pretty good about my workouts this week, happy to have gotten in a few strength training sessions. Kaiser Half Marathon and Tough Mudder are just around the corner. Eek!

Ran Outside: 2.76 miles (9:37/mi)
Plank: 1:02.7
Walk: 3.5 miles

It's been really cold the past few weeks, I feel like this has been the coldest winter I've had in San Francisco....or maybe it's the first winter I've gone outside before 8am.

Boot Camp: 60 min
Ran TM: 1.25 miles
Plank: 1:00.6
Walk: 4.0 miles

Finally made it to Nike Training Club (a.k.a. Boot Camp) at the gym. I dragged myself out of bed last Thursday only to arrive and see that class was cancelled. The last class I went to was probably the week leading up to Christmas - so needless to say, this workout kicked my butt!

To keep up with my RunStreak - I headed over to the treadmill after class and knocked out a quick 1.25 miles.

Ran Outside: 4.0 miles (8:48/mi)
Plank: 1:17.7
Walk: 2.5 miles

I was dragging my feet and didn't get out the door until close to 6:30, I was going to keep the run short (2 miles), but I was feeling really good, so I went for 4 instead.

Boot Camp: 60 min
Run TM: 1.5 miles
Plank: 1:02.6
Walk: 3.0 miles

With the Tough Mudder just 5.5 weeks away, skipping Boot Camp is not an option for the next month. I'm confident my legs are strong enough to carry me through, but ask my to lift myself over a 12 foot wall and I'm not so sure. For the second time this week, I got my my butt kicked - but I wouldn't have traded that for the extra hour of sleep.

Again after class, headed over to the treadmill to get in my mini run. Logged 1.5 miles.

Run Outside: 3.23 (8:47/mi)
Plank: 1:06.2
Walk 3.0 miles

Legs were a little tired, so was pretty conservative with this run. Didn't want to burn out before my 10 mile run on Saturday.

Ran Outside: 10 miles  (9:29/mi)
Walk: 4 miles

10-mile training run with Sports Basement and Pamakids. I had a great time on this run and it was in good company. I finally found a running club to join - yay!

Ran TM: 1.0 mile
3 sets on the circuit (arms & legs)
Bench press: 45lbs

Decided to take it easy on the legs (and feet yesterday). Jogged a slow mile on the treadmill as warm up, then just went through the circuit and did some chest presses. The side of my right foot was bothering me, so after the gym I made sure to elevate and ice...hoping it's not anything serious.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Training Run

The countdown is on...2 weeks until the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon. I'm really looking forward to this race, I've heard great things, plus I've heard that the course is really flat (yay). I've been training really hard the past 6 weeks and am hoping to crush my PR on this course.

Earlier this week, I was browsing Facebook and a training run for this marathon popped up in my feed.  The run was open to anyone and was being hosted by a local running club. I've been wanting to make some running friends, so this event intrigued me.

I got up early this morning and headed out to the Sports Basement. I love this place, but kind of a pain in the butt to get to. I walked half a mile to the bus stop, took the bus and then had to walk to last mile to Sports Basement. When I got off the bus, so did another girl. She was wearing her running gear and some sweet Mizuno's - so naturally I assumed she was headed to the training run as well. I assumed right.

We became fast friends. Sports Basement was buzzing with people. We had a little bit of down time before starting the run, so we checked out the Mizuno booth. Mizuno was sponsoring today's run and they had test runners (shoes). I was wearing my Wave Rider 15s, so they fitted me with a loaner pair of the new Wave Rider 16s. They are a full ounce lighter and were a rad pink/salmon color. I was a little hesitant to do a long run in them, but the fit was so simliar to my own shoe that they ended up working out.

We headed out to warm up shortly after 9. I did a fast head count while stretching and there were more than 70 people attending the run! Amazing! I signed up to do the 10 mile course and started off at a good pace with my new friend. We were pacing the same as one of the coaches from the running club - she was really awesome. My new friend fell back after the first few miles and I got to chat with the coach. She was really awesome and we were having great conversation which made the miles fly by. Around mile 7 or 8 we were running through Fisherman's Wharf and I saw a guy I went to high school with - guess he is here on random.

I finished the run with another lady from the running club. My time was a little slower than my 10-miler two weeks ago (finished at 1:34), but I was still really happy with the pace. If I can maintain a simliar pace during the race, I'll definitely drop some minutes off my PR.

When we got back to the Sports Basement they had a table with bagels and juice. Yum! Plus, all the runners got a 20% discount. I couldn't resist picking up another pair of shoes - so now I have 2 new pairs around for backup. I'm sure the hubby loves this.

So yeah...awesome run today and I'm signed up to meet up for next week's training run. I'm also looking into officially joining the running club. I met so many amazing people today and they pretty much sold me on it.

Are you part of a running club? How do you like it?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Goal Check-In

2013 is off to a great start. I've been reading about everyone's new year's goals on blogs and twitter. It's inspired me to set a lot of mini goals for myself.

First off, I'm continuing my runstreak. I've hit 42 days and I think I'm going to keep going until my body says no. When I did my first half marathon last fall, I was enjoying running, but I wasn't in love with running. But something happened over the past 6 weeks and now I wake up every morning ready to get my run in. I've got running on the brain, pretty much all the time now. Can I quit my day job and just run? Is that even possible?

Also on the calendar for January is the Chilly Challenge via Running Escapades and Purple Giraffe. I love that I found this challenge. It was a great way to start off the new year and inspiration for keeping up with my weekly milage. It's a virtual running challenge, I'm on Team Escapades, and after week one it was confirmed that we are in the lead. Woo!! I love how supportive the virtual running community is - everyone on facebook and twitter has been so nice and handing out daily doses of encouragement.

Another goal for this month (actually more of an ongoing goal) is I really want to work on tightening my core. To get my core nice and tight, I've started doing a plank a day. One Tough Mother Runner is hosting a virtual plank a day challenge this month, so I joined in on that as well. It's the #PlanksALot Challenge - look for the hashtag on Twitter to see how it's going. I really love the plank, it's really minimal effort (ha!) - you can just roll out of bed in the morning and get your stop watch going for a minute or two and then POOF! you're done. Can't wait to see the long term results.

What are your goals for January and the rest of 2013?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

RnR SF Kick Off Party

This week has been pretty busy. My little sister moved in on Saturday afternoon. She just got an internship in the Bay Area and is going to be hanging out on my couch for the next 4 months. Our little one bedroom apartment is a little cramped, but I think it's all going to work out.

Naturally, being new to the city, I decided she needed to see the sites. So last night I dragged her to the Rock n' Roll San Francisco official kick-off party at one of my favorite places - Sports Basement. I mean, who wouldn't want to go there. Seriously, it's one of my favorite stores.

Last night was one of those times that I really wish I had my own car. Getting to the Presido from downtown isn't the easiest. I was feeling lazy and didn't want to take the bus, so we called Lyft - better known as the car with the pink mustache. I've used this service a few times and love it, but last night led us on quite an adventure. We only missed our turn about 3 times and then almost got on the Golden Gate Bridge, but in the end we arrived.

The kick off party was small, but awesome. Sports Basement offers such a great community setting for local athletes. There were a few vendor booths set up (Mizuno, Gu, Gatorade, MarathonMatt), free snacks and beer....yes, free beer....does it get any better? There was also a raffle, although I didn't win anything, but I scored these beautiful Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s for $65!!

Ooooh, so pretty! 

Didn't win the raffle, but the guys at the Mizuno booth saw I was getting shoes and gave me a pretty sweet water bottle. Score!

Also got a cool poster. The iphone pic doesn't do it justice, it's super cute.

I think the race is only 12 weeks away. I'm pretty excited, not only is this the inaugural Rock n' Roll marathon for San Francisco, but it's also my first Rock n' Roll marathon. Can't wait to see the course details - hopefully it's not as hilly as the US Half was in November. That was killer.

Have you run a Rock n' Roll Marathon? Was it awesome?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fabulous Run

The Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon is just 4 weeks away, so naturally it's time to really start upping my mileage. This will be my third half marathon and my first race of 2013. My goal is to PR and I think I have a chance. In December I posted my highest mileage ever and I've noticed my pace has been getting stronger, faster.

My plan for today was to run 9 miles. I got off to a late start as I could not get my new Garmin Forerunner 10 to find my location. After 20 minutes I gave up and decided to just us the MapMyRun app on my phone. I guess the frustration was a little fuel to my fire as I set a lot of unofficial PRs this morning!

Mile 1 was knocked out in 7:08! Probably wasn't too smart to start out a long distance run and post that kind of pace at the very beginning, but it didn't feel like I was actually going that fast.

I'm usually pretty happy when I get in 6.5 miles in the first hour - but I hit 6 miles at 51:27 - which meant it was possible to get in a 7th mile in my hour time frame. I made sure to make that happen and hit 7 miles at 1:00:16 - yay!

I was still feeling good about mile 8, so I decided I was going to make this a double digit run this morning, so I ran around the block a few extra times at the end so I could hit 10 miles. I finished 10.12  miles in 1:27! I so hope I can keep this up, if so I won't just set a new PR next month, I will crush my previous times. I plan to work hard the next few weeks so this can be a possibility.

Hope today wasn't a fluke - 'cause I'm on cloud 9 right now! Here's a recap from MapMyRun

Did you run today? If so, how'd it go?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

Wow! Where did 2012 go? I feel like it went at warp speed - is that really what happens the older you get? I remember being in junior high and counting down the 100+ days until summer and thinking that was such a long time, I feel like now 100 days goes by in the blink of an eye.

2012 was such a great year, I'm hoping 2013 will be even better. I have a list of resolutions, or goals rather that I'm looking forward to in 2013.

Health & Fitness Related

1) Run a half marathon in 2:10:00 or under (I was just 3 minutes shy of this last year)

2) Run 800 miles

3) Survive the Tough Mudder in February

4) Make an effort to eat healthier - including bringing my lunch to work a minimum of 3 days a week (this will save $$ and calories)

5) Try a new class or sport (last year I tried Spin, Running and Bikram Yoga (all of which I LOVE! Wish there was more time so I could do all of these every day).

6) Find some running buddies

7) Write more and grow my blog

Lifestyle Related

1) Be a better me

2) Pay off all credit cards / Save more

3) Read more books

4) Continue with and progress in German-language studies

5) Volunteer

6) Move to Europe (this has been a long time dream for my husband and I - hoping this is the year)