Monday, December 9, 2013

Lessons in pepper spray!

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Pepper spray is no joke, and it should be treated with respect! Also, it doesn't just burn your eyes; it burns the heck out of your lungs. Yes, I now know this from personal experience. But before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you how this all started.

Recently, my husband suggested I start running with pepper spray. I looked into several different types and brands. I feel like choosing a pepper spray is like choosing a star in the sky. There are so many different types, brands, strengths, etc. Some of the ones I found that were pretty cool were:

The pepper spray gun:
Pros: This looks like a small revolver which means you could whip out the pepper spray gun at an assailant and it might scare them off
Cons: It could make them more hostile and pull out a real gun. You have to hold it while you run and hope it doesn’t fall.

The wrist strap pepper spray:
Pros: It straps to you so no holding or fear that it will fall
Cons: you will have to fiddle with it to get it out of the strap, giving your assailant time to attack.

Lipstick pepper spray:
Pros: small and discreet. It can be carried anywhere with you.
Cons: Like the above, you have to pull it out and remove the cap to use, which again, can give you assailant time to attack.

The main thing I was worried about was having to fiddle with the pepper spray in anyway. I’m clumsy and I need one that is fail and idiot proof. If possible I also didn’t want to have to hold on to it while running in fear that I might drop it. While searching online, I came across (what I believe to be the greatest pepper spray invention, since…well…I don’t know) Runsafety Pepper Spray. This pepper spray straps onto your wrist and sits on top of your hand. When you want to use the pepper spray, you push a finger into your palm and BAM, pepper spray comes out. In short this pepper spray

ü  Is ready to use without taking off any caps
ü  Is always facing the correct direction for spraying
ü  Sprays up to 8 feet away
ü  Makes you feel like you have awesome spidey powers when you pull the trigger.

The pink thing on her hand is the
pepper spray.
Here it is in action.

I just received the pepper spray this weekend (in black) and I was excited to test it out (not on a person, I just wanted to make sure I knew how to use it). Remember how above I said I was clumsy? I thought it'd be a good idea to wear googles while pulling out the canister. My husband suggested I spray a little into the sink (I was thinking outside, but I thought hey I'm wearing googles, it will be fine). NOT FINE, I sprayed it really close to the wall of the sink and some of the spray came back at me. I had the craziest coughing fit I have ever had in my life. I was coughing so much it was hard to sneak in breaths of air. I ran out of the kitchen, but the coughing continued. It got so bad, I started dry heaving and I could even taste a little blood in my mouth. It lasted for about 15 minutes. That's the last time I take my husbands advice. Best part of it all, was he worried about me? Nope he was laughing his butt off at me.

Take home lesson for everyone, the Runsafety Pepper Spray is awesome, and pepper spray works!

How do you stay safe while running?
Have you ever used pepper spray, if so, what kind?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey Trot Race Recap and Lessons on "Running"

I love automatic PRs!!! This Thanksgiving I completed my first 10k. I have been looking forward to this race for sometime as it is another runners rite-of-passage here in Reno. It has only been going on for about 15 years, but it is probably one of the most popular races in the Reno-Sparks area. there were 1200 people alone running the 10k. There were hundreds more running the 2 mile. I am actually surprised that a race on a holiday is so popular.

Anyway, like most races I was worried about how I would run. I was fughting a cold and I had some crazy bumps on the bottom of my foot that felt like rocks in my shoe whenever I put pressure on it. In addition to that, I always put a lot of pressure on myself, even though I know I shouldn't. Even though this was my first 10k, I already had a time I would like to come in at in my head. My goal was 55:00 minutes. That would put me in just under 9:00/mi which according to the writers over at Livestrong:

 "completing a mile in nine minutes or less is running" 

and I'd like to consider myself a runner, so running was what I was going to do. I arrived at the race about 45 minutes prior to the start. I was excited that my hubby came with me to cheer me on (and also get some race pics of me).

Pre-race pic

It was super chilly (32 degrees). I was a little bummed to find out that they were not doing a chip start time, only a chip finish. Which means when the clock starts, it starts for everyone no matter when you cross that start line. I didn't want to line up in the front because I knew I would end up in some insanely fast persons path and probably be trampled annoy the crap out of them. So I lined up in the middle near the frontish. One of the girls I run with on my Tuesday and Saturday run group, Amy, was running the race (this was also her 1st 10k) and said her goal was to keep up with me. (I'm not sure where she got it in her head that I was even remotely worthy of a goal of hers). She lined up with me before the start and we took off together. There was only about a 10 second delay from when the gun went off to when I actually started running. It was a good and wide course, so I didn't feel like I was trapped behind a lot of people. I got out the crowd pretty quickly. About a mile into the race, she slowly started to get faster and before I knew it she was ahead of me. I really wanted to speed up too, but I was trying to stay modest and not burnout later.

What seemed like an hour later, we passed the 2 mile mark. I felt like I was going to loose it there. That was the longest 2 miles of my life. I was already exhausted feeling, and somehow really cold and hot at the same time. I actually thought about giving up right then and there. I knew I'd regret it later if I quit, so I kept on keepin. After mile 3, things feel into place. I actually forgot I was running and allowed my mind to wander. I was feeling relaxed and good. The race did a few out and back turns so I was basically able to see everyone in the race. It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces along the way. Before I knew it, I was at mile 5, my watch said I was at 4.82. I picked up the pace a little bit and was able to hold on until mile 6 again 5.82 according to my watch. Here I was at mile 6 thinking I only had .2 miles to go. So I gunned it as fast as my legs could carry me. I was flying by other runners.
Thinking I'm almost done.

After a time, I realized I still did not see the finish line. I looked down at my watch and I was at 6 miles. Now according to their mile markers I should be finishing. But nope, the course was actually a little over a 10k (6.28mi to be exact) and they were just horrible at placing the markers. I still had .28 miles to go, and I was out of gas. you can probably guess, everyone I passed during my preemptive sprint to the finish, passed my up while they were sprinting to the true finish.

No biggie though, I still finished. Not with as much finesse as I hopped, but I finished nonetheless. And the best part is, I hit my goal! I finished in 54:38. Amy (you know the one whose goal it was to stay with me) finished in 53:34. All in all, I thought it was a good race. I think I could have gone slightly faster throughout the entire race, but I think it went well my for first. I even got to take some post race pictures with a giant turkey!
Amy and I with the Trotting Turkey!
Splits: 8:39 / 8:48 / 8:55 / 9:01 / 8:58 / 8:35 / 9:01 (the final .28)
Overall time: 54:38 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blogging is not a Talent of Mine

Okay, so I am probably the worst blogger in the history of blogging. I have noticed I have really only been posting when I have a race recap, or once a month, whichever comes first. I started writing this blog so I could keep track of my training and I don’t know, maybe look back down the road in a few years and reflect on how my running obsession began. But, according the frequency of my entries, it doesn't look like I’ll have much to reflect on. I did the same thing when I tried to keep a journal when I was younger. I wrote in it about once a year and it was always about some new boy I had a crush on. I digress. I think one of my New Year’s Resolutions this coming year will be to blog weekly. Anyway, a lot has been going on in my little world of running. I scored another 5k PR in the Trick-or-Treat 5k on October 29th. It was a little short of a full 5k (I think it was 3 miles on the dot), but I will take a PR anyway I can get it. So…my new PR is 25:19 (8:07/mi)! I can almost take the sub 25 minute 5k! I wont get a chance to try out another 5k for some time because 5k season in our area is definitely over.

I am only signed up for one more race this year, the Turkey Trot. It's one of the bigger races here in Reno with over 1,000 participants. It will be my first 10k ever and my longest race to date. Because it's my first 10k, I'm not taking it too seriously. I just want to get a feel for the race distance. Best part about this race, is I get a free sweatshirt, rather than a t-shirt, AND it was only $25 to sign up!!! This could potentially be my last race for a while. My hubby and I are looking to start a family pretty soon. I really hope to keep running throughout pregnancy, but I think racing will be out.

How many times can I change subjects in one post? Three. I'm changing subjects again (but that's what happens when I have a lot to say and don't post enough). I have started running with a new group last week. Northern Sierra Endurance Training, they are a free running/training group here. I love free! They typically meet on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Saturdays and have 3 different distances you can run depending on what you're training for. I met up with them last Tuesday and Saturday. I ran with this group once before a few months ago and I was scared to go back. The group took off at a pace faster than I could keep up with. One of the guys in that group didn't want to leave me behind, so he ran with me the entire time. I felt bad because I knew I was holding him back. This time however, there were 2 newbies to the group who were running the same distance I was, so we agreed to stick together. They were a perfect pace for me! I decided to make Saturdays my long run day rather than Sunday, so I chose the 8mi distance. There was one other guy who was running that distance and he didn't want to run by himself, so he said he'd run at whatever pace I wanted to. He forgot his glasses, so I was appointed navigator. Bad idea!!! I have never ran a new course without getting lost! And true to form, I got us both lost. I missed a turn somewhere (there were over 16 turns to make total) and we had to backtrack. So our 8 mile run, turned into 9.25mi. Oh, well. He had good spirits about it. I felt good about this run because the last time I ran more than 6mi was over 3 months ago. We averaged 10:07/mi while talking, with hills. I know that may not be a fast pace for some, but it was a fast training pace for me to be able to talk all the way through.

All right, enough of the chatter.
Do you still have any races you are signed up for the rest of the year?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Finally, a 5K PR!!!

Seeing as how I am transitioning from a sprinter running no more than 400m to a longer distance runner. I always thought the 5k race, would be my race. It's short enough for me to keep some speed. I haven't really sprinted since high schoold and my fastest 400m as of late was 1:10, which according to McMillan Running Calculator hsould put me at a 19:48 5k (yeah right, in my dreams). My fastest 5k to date was 26:27 which I ran 4 months ago. I suck at running distance, and I would love to one day achieve a 19:48. I have done numerous 5ks since June and have not PR'd. But finally today I ran a little faster.

My company sponsored a team for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. For some reason everyone at work thinks I'm this great super fast runner. I told one person, I run about 4x per week, and he thought that meant I was really fast. I have tried to explain to him many times that I run slow during those 4x per week. Somehow word got out and one of my co-workers (he is an MMA fighter) decided to make a competition out the Race for the Cure. As an MMA fighter, I knew he was way more in shape than I was. I kept trying to talk myself down to anyone who would listen, but for some reason no one would listen and thought it would be some great race between him and I. Yeah...not even close. He finished in 18:52. However, boosted by the little competition I was able to PR! It did have a few more switchbacks than I would have liked because it was all in the parking lot of a hotel, but it was flat! Gotta love flat! I finished in 25:41! Not super fast by any means, but super fast for me. I averaged 8:17/mi! My splits were 8:03 (starting too fast like always) / 8:28 / 8:28 / 6:59 (final .11mi).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Joy of Racing

I am going to be very sad once this racing season is over because I have really taking this racing thing head on, some might even say obsessed. I have only been consistently running since February and my first race was March 17th. Since then I have ran 10 races and I still have at least 3 more planned for the rest of the year. A lot of people say they run for sanity, health, etc. Is it bad to say that I run to race? Racing is so exciting to me. The competition, the atmosphere, the goal of trying to better myself. I think Oprah Winfrey said it best when she said:

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it”

This quote is so true. This is why I love running/racing. How I compete at a race is a direct correlation to how I’ve trained. Unlike in other team sports where you are depending on others, it’s only you. I’m not saying I don’t love team sports (because I do), but there is no one else to blame. If I don’t do well, it’s all on me. I consider myself to be a very independent person, and running is a great independent sport.

On that note of not blaming anyone or anything for my perceived failures, I have yet another race recap to talk about.This past weekend I participated in the Race to Benefit the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit 5k and 10k. This was the inaugural year for this race, and like most races, I couldn’t resist the allure of a free technical t-shirt and cheap entry fee ($25). This was a very small race with only 162 people doing the 5k and another 79 doing the 10k. I opted for the 5k. Since this run was put on by the Reno Running Company, they were giving away gift certificates for AG winners 3 deep. The course was definitely not flat by any means, so I knew I would most likely not PR, but since it was such a small race, I thought I had a shot at an age group placement. This race started about 15 minutes later than it should have. One of my friends and her husband were running in the race so I lined up with her near the middle back. The race started about 15mins late (better late than never I guess).  The first .75mi was downhill. I should have taken the opportunity to use the downhill and go out really fast, but again my fear of going out too fast got the better of me. My first split was 8:14. The course was a lollipop shape through a neighborhood. It wasn’t pretty or scenic, and like I said previously it was not flat. The next mile was 8:41. Since this was a lollipop course, I would have to go back up that huge downhill in the beginning of the race. It was tougher than it should have been. I struggled the entire way up, but still managed to eke out an 8:44 for the final mile and 7:35 for the last .1mi. My friends husband was already done and relaxing by the time I got to the finish line. This was his first 5k and he still managed to place first in his age group and 12th overall. My results…not so good. I placed 32nd overall and 4th in my AG (for the 4th time, will it ever be my time to get an AG placement). However, upon a closer look I noticed something about the girl in 3rd place.

Lauren Tomory

Eleanor Su
Hayley George
Lynsey Day (me)

Do you see it? She had a faster gun time than me, but I had the faster chip time. Normally I wouldn’t put up a fuss, but there was a gift certificate to my favorite running store on the line, So I went up to the women who was posting the results and asked her if they were going by gun time or chip time. She wasn’t sure but said I should go talk to the people doing the timing. I went to them, and they said they were pretty sure it was going by chip time. So I told them that my chip time was faster than the girl in 3rd place. They told me to go talk to the race director. I found him and asked him the same question. Chip time, or gun time? He told me they were going by gun time because he didn’t think it was fair that if someone showed up 5 minutes late to the race and crossed the finish line after everyone else should deserve an award. In the nicest way I could I said, “So, even though I was on time for the race and ran the course 4 seconds faster than the girl in 3rd place, but obviously started behind her, I don’t deserve 3rd place in my AG?” He just said that they were trying to be as fair as possible and that awards should be given by who crossed the finish line first. Seriously??? Had I known that, I would have started up at the front. I have to say I feel pretty cheated out of an AG and a gift certificate. I was a good sport and still clapped for her when they called her name.
So, 26:48...not my best, but also not my worst. I guess that is about my average for a 5k. My Garmin put me at a 8:30 pace because it said I went a total of 3.15mi. I honestly don’t think I will be running in their 2nd annual race, but it was still a race, and I still had a great time.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Transformation into a Reno Runner.

I finally like I can call myself a real Reno runner now, for I have completed the RGJ Journal Jog. It is Reno’s oldest foot race held annually starting in 1968. It’s crazy to think that I only started my running journey in February of this year. Since then, I have entered 9 races and completed 8. All of the races I have done have been 5ks (with the exception of the Reno 10 miler DNF) however, this was an 8k or 4.97mi race. I was super excited to do this race. Every runner in Reno I know has done this race at least once, in fact almost every person I know, runner or not in Reno has ran or walked the race, so I was very happy to become a Journal Jog veteran. Seeing as how my longest race has only been 3.1mi, I had no idea how to approach this race. Normally when I finish a 5k, I am really tired and sometimes even light headed, so I knew I probably should not expect to run the same pace. So, I went to the trusty McMillian running calculator and plugged in my most recent 5k time and boom…it spit out an 8:53 pace for an 8k. My first thought was “yeah right, I will never be able to keep up a sub 9:00 pace for 5mi, but thanks for the laugh.” So I guess I was on my own. This is a scary thought to me. I have a huge fear of starting out way too fast and completely crashing and burning in the end, thus, I have counted on that calculator for everything, whether it be race paces or training paces. But I had no choice but to trust myself.

Normally before every race I wake up about 2 hours before race time and go on a 1mi shakeout run, for whatever reason I decided to skip this run. Also, the entire day before the race I usually take it easy and lounge around all day, however the day before I was moving to a new house and was doing anything but lounging. I also normally go to bed early enough to get a full 8 hours of sleep, and you guessed it, I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 knowing I had to be up by 6 to race. Needless to say, I knew in my heart this wasn’t going to be my race, but I pressed onward.  I parked about a half mile away from the race start and thought I would run to the start line for my warm-up. I was glad to know that even though I was tired and my legs were stiff from moving the day before, that they still worked. By the time I made it to the start, I only had 5mins til the start of the race. I got a quick stretch in and lined up in the 9:00-10:00min pace group. The race started right on time (which I love). The entire time I was running I was trying to judge how I was feeling, too tired? Legs too sore? The entire race went by really fast to me, normally I am staring at my Garmin wanting to know how much further I have to go, but I would have never known I had gone a mile if my watch didn’t beep. First mile beep, I looked down 8:40.Crap, I am going way too fast. Next mile 8:55, ah still too fast, I’m going to have nothing left. Next mile contained a not too fun hill and 9:09. At the end of this mile instead of thinking I was going too fast, I thought, I am not tired enough to actually say I’m racing. In fact I felt about as tired as I would during a quicker paced training run. So I decided to face my fear and pick up the pace a little bit, I could always slow down later. The next 2 miles flew by.  I was pretty shocked. McMillian said my projected pace would be an 8:53/mi and I finished officially with a 8:43/mi but the race was a little longer that an 8k according to my Garmin (5miles on the dot) and it says I did an 8:40/mi pace. I wish I would have realized a little bit sooner that I was running too slowly because I might have even finished it faster!  My official finish time was 43:19. I placed 12/30 in my AG and 169/505. Not too horribly bad, but the last race I did was 8/3/2013 and it was all steeply uphill and I was only 12 seconds off my PR so my last flatish race was back in June. I am really eager to see if I can PR again in a 5k race. The next one I have coming up is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on 10/6. I’m hoping for the best.

Splits: 8:40 / 8:55 / 9:09 / 8:20 / 8:17 Official time 43:19

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Playing Catch-up

Long time, no blog. This doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about blogging, I have just been feeling a little ashamed about the way some things have been going recently. The Reno area has been plagued by smoke from wildfires namely the Rim Fire and previously the American Fire for the past month. Most days the air quality has been so bad it was recommended not to go outside, let alone go running outside. And many who know me know that I would rather go deep sea diving in shark infested waters than run on a treadmill. I was worried about the Reno 10 Miler going on during the first week of the American Fire, I even made the decision that if the air quality didn't improve I wouldn't be running the race, which would have been a huge disappointment because I was planning on using this race as a measure of my running fitness and how to pace myself for my half marathon in October. The running gods saw to it that the race should go on. The day of the race, the air quality was deemed "healthy". When I got to the race, I met up with some co-workers who were also running and Karla who offered to pace me. We took the obligatory pre-race picture.
Karla, Katherine, Me, and Logan
The race started right on time (which I love) and it started off great. The first 2.5 miles where uphill, so I thought I would run that part conservatively. My knee really started hurting about 2 miles in. I thought it was just the uphill, so I decided to walk (just for a little bit) until I hit the downhill portion, and it just got worse. Karla cautioned me that I should just take the dreaded DNF instead of making things worse. She told me I might regret stopping now, but not as much as I would regret it later if I kept running. I did decide to stop. Since that race, my knee has been constantly hurting. I am pretty sure it is related to my IT Band, because I seem to possess every symptom.

The week of the race, I ran 26 miles. That was my biggest mileage since then. Because of all the smoke I have been forced to stay indoors. I have tied to substitute running with spinning classes and swimming. For a few days this week, we have had relatively low smoke days, so I have ventured out and ran. I feel like I have lost a lot of my running fitness already. Things are a lot harder than they used to be. :( I have also made the executive decision to not run in the Urban Cow Half Marathon this year. I am incredibly bummed about this. I feel like I have been working so hard to train for this even, but because of the smoke i have missed 4 of my long runs, and I just don't think I will be prepared enough to race. I know I could still finish, but I wanted to finish with a good time.

In the meantime, I have found a new love of swimming. It is very relaxing.
 I took a swimming class my last semester of college and I found it fun and challenging. During that time, I couldn't do more than one lap (2 lengths of the pool of 50m) without stopping, but I have found now that I can do 3 laps (6 lengths or 150m) before I need to take a quick break. Ok, so I'm no Michael Phelps, but that is pretty cool progress. I think I can attribute it to all the running I was doing. Now if only I could find the same love of cycling then I would probably love triathlons, but alas, me and biking are not really on the best of terms. I almost think I would rather run on a treadmill than go on a bike ride. What I'm trying to say is:
Except for this one, because it's just awesome!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

1 week and counting...

This past weekend I ran the Liquid Gold 5k at UNR. I ran it with my sister-in-law. This was her very first race and I was glad to be a part of her experience. I was kind of a jerk and I took off and left her behind, I should have ran with her, but I really wanted to PR. My training runs have been a lot faster, so I thought I would really fast, but the course was super hilly and tough. I ended up running only 12 seconds slower than my fastest time, so I do think if it was a flatter course, then I would have PR'd. Stephanie (my sister-in-law) ran really well. She is from Washington and was really worried about running in high elevation. Her goal was 40 minutes, but she finished in 32 min. I was so proud of her. She is a natural at running, I think I'm going to have to watch my back.
Me and Stephanie at her first race

Action shot

Finished in 26:38
One week until my 10 miler! I'm getting nervous already! I don't really have a strategy planned out other than running the first 2.5 miles conservatively. The first 2.5 miles are uphill and then it levels out and continues slightly downhill after that. I know I shouldn't have a goal other than finishing because this is my first race over 3 miles, but I already know I can finish. My longest run to date is 12 miles. But, I do have a time goal my conservative goal is 1:35 and my actual goal is 1:29. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Musicality of Being Sidelined

I believe on my last post I complained of ankle pain. On this post I will complain about foot pain (only for about 2 sentences, I promise) To fix my ankle issue, I bought an ankle brace, wore it too tightly, and now I have a case of the...well...I' don't think there's a name for it, but I'll call it sore foot. I have been sidelined since Sunday and since then I have come down with a case of restless leg syndrome. I'm itching to get out there.
I'm ready to go in, coach, just give me a chance.

However, I am also trying to be smart. My foot was feeling pretty good today, but I wanted to wait one day after it felt better again to run.

While I've been sitting around on my butt all week, I decided to make a new playlist. I stopped running with music a couple of months ago because I found myself not paying attention to the music anyway. I would just get lost in my own thoughts. But, it occurred to me that I just think I was bored with the music. I had the same playlist for 3 years. So, following the "5 key Ingredients to the Perfect Playlist" I created a new playlist. Incase you don't want to click the link and find out wat the ingredients are, I will state them for you.

  1. “Hanging By A Moment” by Lifehouse. Lauren swears by this song. This song has been on every running playlist she has made. Since I'm following her rules, I added it to mine.
  2. A mixture of songs.  This is self explanatory. Don't have a list full of only hip-hop, or techno, etc. Explore your musical tastes eclectify (yes, I do make up my one words) your playlist.
  3. Separate out each “type” of song and artist throughout the list. I should have a problem with this because I use an iPod it shuffles for me :)
  4. Make the playlist longer than what you think you’ll need.  She says to do this for two reasons: a.) in case you end up hating certain songs while I’m running and want to skip them, and b.) in case something goes wrong during the race and you end up running longer than expected.
  5. Do not underestimate the power of boy bands.  I think this is probably the best advice. I looooooooooooooooooove music, and I looooooooooooooooooove to sing outloud to music, because it makes me happy. Boybands make me happy!

So...drumroll please...
Total songs: 39    Total time: 2.4 hours

I have included some power songs (Remember the Name, Just a Girl), some fun songs I just live to sing and jump around like a buffoon when I hear them (Gangham Style, Footloose, Love Shack, Pretty Fly for a White Guy), some of my playlist staples (Bad Moon Rising, Inner Smile, Dashboard), and a little of everything else in between.  I am excited to try the new playlist out and see if it helps me move a little faster. Let me know what you guys think.

Do you run/workout with music?

What songs are on your playlist?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Favorite links! And some other stuff too!

So, I have been using my borrowed Garmin all around town. I keep trying to find extra excuses to run, just so I can use it again. It is soooooooooooo much easier than carrying my phone with me. I just discovered it even has a map on it (which is great for me because I have the absolute worst sense of direction. I have never ran a new route and not gotten lost...sad, I know)! I just learned how to upload all of my workouts, and I swear I probably feel how Benjamin Franklin felt when he discovered electricity! Ok, probably not, because I have no clue how he felt, I'm going to guess a lot of pain. Anyway, I have been uploading all of my data on a plethora of websites. StravaDailymileGarmin ConnectMap My Run, just to name a few. I know, I know, I've gone obsessively a tad overboard, but I can't help it I'm so excited i dont even want to use capitalization or punctuation in this sentence anymore! My favorite site in particular is Strava. Did you know that you can race other people when there not even there? Well, you can. I am trying to set a course record for the Sparks Marina. I currently hold the second fastest time for a female, but that #1 spot is in my grasp!

Besides the excitement of the Garmin, I have recently convinced my sister-in-law, Stephanie, to start running. She has been doing so great, running 4x per week! She is even buying new running shoes! She is a lot more committed than I would have been starting off. She runs with her stroller, which is insane and intense. I really hope when I have children I will be able to do that. Right now I struggle just trying to lug my own body weight around. She lives in Puyallup, WA, but she is coming down for a visit in August. She is going to be running the Liquid Gold 5k with me when she comes. I'm super excited that I will have someone to run with. This will be her very first race!

Switching the topic yet again. On Saturday, I did a pretty tough speed workout with the running group. 5x 1000k. We ran the first 2 intervals on grass and the final 3 on the track. I think the grass running really messed me up. The next day I woke up sore beyond belief. My ankle and the muscles surrounding it were super stiff and sore. Unfortunately for me, that day was my long run. I was scheduled to run 11mi which would have been a distance PR for me, but I was only able to bust out 7. My ankle was just too stiff and I didn't want to risk injuring it. I went for a tempo run yesterday, and it was still stiff. I'm not sure what's going on, but I am praying it goes back to normal soon.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Training plan detour

Last week was a very interesting week! I think I have been signing up for too many races lately and they are cutting into my training time as most races are on Sundays, and that is my current long run day. My schedule for this week was supposed to be
Day of Week
9mi LR
5mi EZ
Absolutely nothing
Nothing again!
3x1mi repeats
5k race
5mi EZ
3x1mi repeat
Mileage total

So, not very good at keeping with the schedule. Last training schedule I was so good at sticking to. I followed that plan to the tee. This week is already a little bit off. I am on, mileage wise, but pace wise is all over the place. I think I mentioned I found a running group to join, well on last Saturday I met up with them for 1 mile repeats at Virginia Lake.  Those people are crazy! They are all sub 3 hour marathoners! One of them was attempting to set the CR for Virginia Lake on Strava, which he killed by over 30 sec. The “coach” of the group was super nice and is letting me take his Garmin for a 2 week test drive. I wore it on Sunday for my ling run, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s a lot easier than carrying my phone around, but it is really big and bulky. It does make me feel like more of a runner though.  For my long run on Sunday, I met up with Reno Running Co for their weekly Sunday Store Runs. I ran with them last week as well, but that was a disaster. As you can see from the above table I was supposed to run 9 miles, but I quit right before 8 miles. I didn’t have the energy, I got lost twice, I ran out of water, and I was just hot. I called my husband to come pick me up. This week, however, was better. I ran the first 7 miles solo, and then met up with the group to run the final 3. I finished with an average pace of 10:37/mi (thanks to the final 3 I did with the group. I can’t help it, when everyone else is running fast, I don’t want to get left behind) which is crazy because before I started with the group, my 7 mile average pace was 11:20/mi.
I am meeting up with another group, NSET, today for a 5 mile run. I met 2 of the NSET runners on Sunday and they convinced me to stop by and run with them. If I keep up with all of these group runs, I will only have to run one day solo, which would be incredible. I would much rather run with others.

In other news, I ran the Tahoe Firecrakcer Trail Trekon the 4th. I was really excited about this race for some reason. I had this great idea in my mind that I was going to kill it. I would finally get one of those age group medals (judging by previous year’s results). Not so. This was the absolute toughest race I have ever done (even though I haven’t done that many). I know the title of the race includes the word “trail” but don’t ask me why, I had convinced myself, that it was mostly a road race. Wrong again! ¾ of the run was on trails…the soft (like running on sand), extremely narrow (two people aren’t gonna fit on here at the same time), and hilly. It was also the longest 5k of my life. I felt like I was running for hours. I looked down at my phone at one point and I was already at 26 mins (so much for a PR or an age group placement) and I still had half a mile to go! I really wanted to just give up! I had already stopped and walked during parts of the race (with my head hanging low), but instead I thought I would just enjoy the scenery and not try and push my already slow steady pace. I finished in 30:11. This was a short course according to my GPS of 3.02mi, so that puts me at exactly a 10:00/mi pace. I have to say I was a little surprised, seeing as I had walked at three different times, that this wasn’t my worst 5k…just my second worst. All in all, though, I had a good time. I loved the foresty trail we got to run on and just like the last race, I learn a lot from (what I consider at least) my failures. It’s only going to make me a better, stronger runner!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Toxic mileage

Tox-ic Miles
/ˈtäksik mīlz /
a run that is too short to build endurance, to slow to build aerobic or anaerobic capacity, not hilly enough to build eccentric resistance, then it is toxic

Yep that sound about right. That sums up today's run to end my 2nd week of half marathon training. My schedule this week was:

Sunday - 5k race
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 4mi EZ
Wednesday - Yoga
Thursday - 5mi EZ
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 4mi EZ

Sunday was supposed to be 7mi, but I had signed up for a race that day, so I skipped it. The beginning of this week went well. I competed all I was supposed to in the ranges I was supposed to. Which brings me to today. I have been lacking on sleep lately, and I went to sleep last night at around midnight. So when I woke up at my normal weekday time of 5:45am, I thought it'd be better if I just went back to sleep to catch up on some ZZZ's. This was mistake number 1. When I woke up again at 8:00, I felt completely un-rested, groggy, and heavy, like I had overslept. I felt fine when I wok up at 5:45, I should just gotten up and ran then. My second mistake, not eating or drinking anything before I ran.

By 8:30, it was already 81 degrees out. I had to force myself out the door. The heaviness and grogginess was very present on my run. My breathing was sooooo out of control and my HR was through the rough! Near the beginning of my run, I dropped my phone, which is my GPS (I really, really need to get a watch), I dropped my phone. i picked it up and made sure it wasn't damaged, and continued to run. At some point a while later, I looked down to see how close to ending the torture run I was, when I noticed I'd apparently only gone .43mi (I'm assuming when I dropped my phone the GPS stopped) and the pace for the .43mi was 11:09/mi. Are you kidding me? That was the final straw. I threw in the towel right then and there and turn around and ran home.  I was supposed to do 4 miles today, but I have no clue how many I did. I'm positive I didn't make the full 4, but I definitely went more than .43mi. How can run 2:30/mi slower than my race pace feel so. excruciatingly. difficult? It is days like this that makes me wonder why in the hell-o kitty I run. On the hopefully flip side, usually after a disastrous run like this, I usually have a great run the next day which is good because I have a 9mi long run tomorrow.

Have you had a disastrous run recently?
How did you get back on your feet?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reno 5000 Race #2

I was really looking forward to this run. I signed up a while back, and for some reason, I though this was going to be my race. I had this great picture in my mind of 1st in my AG. I checked all of the races from the Reno 5000 (they hold 3 races a year) for the past 4 years. Even if I didn't PR in this race and just got close, i would place. They even have a podium and the Reno Gazette Journal took pictures of overall and AG winners 3 deep. Here is how the race went:

I woke up at about 5AM and did a shakeout run. I always hate shakeout runs, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. I'm not even sure if it helps, but I still do it anyway. After my shakeout, I normal pre-race breakfast is bagel with peanut butter. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy some last night and they don't make them that early, so I had to go with a piece of bread with peanut butter. I arrived at the race at about 7:15 (the race started at 7:40). I did a warm up of about .5 miles and 4 strides. This was a race of about 1000 people, and the last bigger race I ran I started out in the back and spent the next mile dodging walkers. This time I lined up near the middle frontish. When the race started, I tried starting my GPS, but it went to some weird screen. I tried backing out and restarting the app, but it went back to this weird screen. After some time, I was finally able to get it going. This particular race started and ended with one lap around a high school track. It took me the entire first lap to get my GPS going. I think this was my first mistake, because I was messing with my GPS, I was running really slow and a lot of people passed me.

Once I got started I was feeling pretty good, I soon got over that feeling. I am not sure why, but this was a rough run for me. My effort was too high, for not getting a PR! In the beginning, I tried staying with a group of runners, but I couldn't keep up. Then, one woman passed me who sounded super winded, I thought I could keep up with her because she was sounding so tired. I never saw her again. This "flat and fast" course, turned out to have more hills than I predicted. I don't do hills. Even the little humps on the sidewalk where a driveway starts, I think are too big of a hill. Needless to say, I struggled some. I usually get really excited and a surge of energy comes to me when I can see the finish. This was not true for today. As I entered the parking lot of the high school, a woman passed me. I tried so hard to keep her with me, with plans to pass her in the end, as we rounded the final lap of the track she took off, and I had absolutely nothing left. I found out later, that final woman to pass me was the 3rd place in my age group winner. I am bummed. I wanted a PR or AG placing so bad. I was so bummed, I didn't even partake in any of the post race goodies. I didn't even bother to have anyone take my picture.

I did however take a picture of my awesome personalized bib!

 I really need to work on my losing skills. My final time was 26:43 58th overall, 4th in age group. Oh well, in order to pick myself up off the floor, I singed up for another 5k on the 4th of July. It's good to have bad races because I learn so much more from a race I perceive as going wrong than I do from races I think I succeed in.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bring it on!

Today marks the first official day of my half marathontraining journey. Having never run more than 10 miles consecutively, I’m a little nervous about running 15 miles as my longest run. But I’m sure just like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

 I recently joined a running group I found on I was a little shy to start running with a bunch of people I've never met before, but then I remembered how much I love the running community and how accepting mostof them are. Yesterday, I went to my first group run. This “group” run turned out to be me and one other guy named Dale. Dale has been a runner since before my mother even had the twinkle in her eye. He has run over 52 marathons, his fastest being 2:34. To say I was intimidated would be an understatement. However, he is now 60 years old, so that gave me a bit of a handicap. We ran a 2 mile loop 3 times and did strides for the last 0.5mi on the last 2 loops. He let me set the pace. Which was nice, but I felt like I was holding him back. I thought about pretending to have contracted some strange new virus that left me weak and unable to run as fast as I normally was capable of, but I decided to save him the theatrics and just run.

For my training plans, I use an app called Runkeeper. It has a plethora of training plans from 5k to a full marathon. It even has a training plan for just losing weight. When you choose a plan it automatically loads it for you when you run and tells you when to speed up, or slow down, etc. It even tells you the pace you should be maintaining during each run. The best part, it’s a free app for the iPhone!
 Ok, enough of the Runkeeper commercial. For the past 4 months I was using the sub 60 min 10k training plan. I loved it; it helped me go from a 10:00/mi 5k to 8:30/mi. So I am putting my faith in this program for my half marathon. I signed up for the sub 2:15 half marathon training plan. Although, my goal is actually a sub 2:05, they didn’t have a plan for that, so I will just run the suggested paces a little bit faster. Now, before I go completely off track, Dale said if I sent him my training plan, he would tweak it to my fitness level and goals. He has been a running coach for 16 years and has coached some really elite athletes. So I am very much looking forward to his input. I am excited to be part of this new running group. He told me about some of the other runners, they all sound like the American equivalents of Kenyans, but I’m looking forward to the challenge I think I can learn a lot from them. I will have to channel my inner “little engine that could” to get through some of their planned workouts, but all I've got to say (at least for right now while I’m feeling brave) is “BRING IT ON!”

Is anyone part of a running group?
How have you liked it?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Running Pop Quiz #1

I found the running pop quiz on hungryrunnergirl. She just came out with a running pop quiz # 2, which I will respond to at a later time, but I really liked the questions.

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?
GU gives me a stomach ache, so i switched to energy chews. My favorite by far are the Energy Blasts by PowerBar. I feel the energy really quickly with no side effects. The ones with caffeine are the best.
2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?
I have only officially raced a 5k, but I have done a 10k in some of the relay races I have done, and I am currently training for a half. I am a sprinter at heart, so I have to go with a 5k!

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?
I own each one of these, but my favorites are shorts, spandex shorts that is. I have bigger legs, so the loose shorts will slowly ride up in the middle, but spandex stays put. I really do like skirts though. I feel like I'm running free when wearing them.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?
I don't think anything beats out, plain old fashioned cold water. It's what I crave!

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?
COLD!!! Anything more than 65 degrees, and I don't want to go outside. 

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?
I am not very brand loyal. I have ran in Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. If they feel good, I'll wear them. 

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?
Bagel and peanut butter is where it's at!

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?
I say twice per week, but that's only because that's what my training schedule tells me to do. :)

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?
If you asked me 2 months ago, I would have said I would never leave the house with my music but, since I have actually discovered that I enjoy running. I like to go without. Running is my time to get away from it all and focus on me. No distractions, just me and the road.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphin's  you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?
I love running, because I love to race. I am a very competitive person. I love the feeling of improving myself and seeing the actual improvements.  Oprah said it best when she said "“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Running Full Circle

Just finished my favorite type of training run...intervals on the track. I found this training plan online that had a great interval ladder training.
10 minute warm up, 1x1000m, 2x800m, 3x400m, 4x200m, 10 min cool down. I had so much fun doing this workout. Most people say they feel so free running, I couldn't agree more with that than I did today. I don't know why, but I swear, I feel invincible when I am running faster. Like no one can touch me. I feel like I'm riding top down, wind blowing through me hair. Even though I run as slow as snail snot, it's still great. I was really in the zone today. I haven't ran a 200 since high school, 10 years ago. (Side note, my 10 year high school reunion is in July and I am super duper excited!!! Now back to running matters.)

 All was going really well until a couple on bikes, for whatever reason thought it would be a great idea to ride around on the track. I don't get it. Is it really that fun to ride around in a circle? The neighborhood I was in was full of pike paths, parks, and sidewalks. Apparently, all the lovely bike paths the great city of Reno has invested in weren't good enough for them.I don't understand why they felt they felt the need to ride on the track, and go incredibly slow. I mean, I was running faster than them. Luckily they only went around twice. Okay enough of the ranting.


I averaged 6:48/mi on my intervals alone. Why can't I tap into that speed when I need to go longer than 1000m? After much deliberation, I have concluded that I lack stamina. I think after my 5k on the 23rd, I am going to have to start doing tempo runs regularly, to beef my stamina up. I hope I break some records on the 23rd...personal that is.

Gotta love my matching skills. Saucony visor,
Brooks shirt, Fila bottoms, and Asics shoes.

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