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fitness friday: RnR SD 26.2

17 Jun

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A little less than two weeks ago I ran my fourth full marathon – RnR San Diego.  It was a wonderful day and despite the fact the course is challenging and I went in with minimal expectations, I managed to PR with a time of 3:43:38.

I have an interesting history with this race.  I did the half in 2012 and loved it.  It was also the first place I broke the 1:40 barrier in the half. In 2013, I ran my very first full marathon on this course and it was a battle.  The last 6-8 miles were a struggle and it was a huge learning experience.  This time, I went in with a plan to just use this race as a gauge of my fitness and to get another 26.2 race behind me.  I had trained for LA in February, but about a month before the race I developed pretty intense plantar fasciitis and opted not to race on that day.  In the interim, I’ve ramped up my cross training (cycling and swimming) and resistance training through Tone It Up.  I’ve also cleaned up my diet, and felt the difference on my training runs for RnRSD.   I didn’t do a long run over 18 miles for fear that I would injure myself, and didn’t really follow a comprehensive training plan, so I wanted to start out slow (first 6-7 miles no faster than 8:30) and then get faster.

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The night before the race I got dinner with some of my #DTLARunning guys – I wasn’t really nervous until we all got together and I realized I was going to be running for a long time the next morning.  Woof.

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I was lucky to stay just a block from the start line with my  friend Ryan.  We watched some frivolous reality TV which also helped keep my nerves at bay.  And the best part?   I recognized the first contestant on a Fox reality TV show from college.

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Why yes, I was a big Loggy fan in 2010.

ANYWAY.

As I was unwinding, my #DTLARunning friend/training partner Alvaro messaged me and said he was going to pace me and that my plan of starting with 8:30s was stupid because I was going to get tired anyway.  Gulp.  We arranged to meet in my corral and he’d pace me.  He is confident I have a BQ in me – but I did not want to put that pressure on myself at San Diego, knowing I was undertrained and also knowing there’s a beast of a hill at mile 21.

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I met up with the #DTLARunning crew, found Alvaro, and we were off.  I really enjoyed the first 10 miles or so, through North Park and Normal Heights.  There was good crowd support and fun signs.  Alvaro and I kept it sub-8 (on accident on my part, less sure about him) and we rolled into the half at 1:42.  I listened to podcasts the first half, and then turned my music on as a “treat” later on in the race (yes I realize that sounds absurd, things get weird in my brain during a full mary).

I started getting a little tired around mile 16, in the Mission Bay area where the course got a little bit boring.  I stopped to walk a few times here and there, but was generally just enjoying being out there.  While I did get tired, I never felt gassed out or like I was experiencing glycogen debt.  I also did not experience cramps or crazy charley horses (like I did in my last marathon).

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The race went by quickly – all of a sudden we were at mile 20.  And then that beast of a hill… We sped up the last mile or so and the finish really did seem to go on forever.

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I was really REALLY happy with a PR on this course (and a 6-minute course PR as well).  More than anything, this was the best I’ve ever felt post-marathon.  I was a little sore for two days after, but was able to exercise and get my muscles moving.  Definitely hungry now for a sub 3:40 and an eventual BQ.

After the race, I hung out with Alvaro and the #DTLARunning crew. IMG_7209

And then indulged with Ryan with mimosas and views of San Diego.

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It was a great re-entry into the marathon distance and boosted my confidence at my fitness level right now.  Even writing this made me feel those #endorphinwasted vibes I love so much.

On the fitness docket for me this weekend is a Saturday morning run with #DTLARunning and checking out the Shape Magazine Movemeant Foundation event, and a spin sesh on Sunday with Electric Flight Crew.

How are you sweating this weekend?  

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resurrection.

16 Jan

I know, I haven’t blogged “in a minute” (that’s something people say to mean literally any unit of time, but whatever).

I used to have a tradition where I’d recap my year with the songs that summarized each month…and although I failed at getting that posted anywhere near the end of 2015, I am not one to break with tradition.  So, I thought I’d pop back up really quickly to summarize the gist of 2015 and then hit you with some 2k16 goals. (Tangent: what’s with the hashtags of #squad #squadgoals this past year?  I’m guilty of using them, but not 100% sure what either of them mean.  #squadgoals?)

ANYWAY.  Here are the songs that summarized my twenty fifteen.  I’m skipping the recaps this year (my life is boring and and I am not sure anyone cares, but here’s some addictive songs and some rad photos from the last year).

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You can see the pain.

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And while I’m here, might as well hit with you some 2016 goals – not making “resolutions” per se, but here’s what I want to tackle in 2016:

  • PR in the marathon.  Not putting obscene pressure on myself to BQ, but trying to run smarter (and slower in the beginning) to finish with a faster time.  I would love to see 3:39:xx this year, but I’ve also been pretty lazy with my training.  I’ll be happy with any finish (or that’s what I tell myself).
  • Complete a triathlon.  I’ve signed up for one.  #gulp
  • Read more. (for pleasure, duh)
  • Tackle some unspecified professional and personal goals (gotta keep some things a little cryptic…)

#Mountains2Beach Marathon Recap

25 May

Yesterday I ran my third marathon – Mountains 2 Beach which started in Ojai and ended on the beach in Ventura. I wanted to get my recap done ASAP to remember all of the highs and various lows from this race.  Overall, it was a fabulous race experience and I also learned a lot for future training cycles.

My training going into this marathon was better than my previous two — I got in more long runs, and my pace was consistently better than it has been in the past.  I felt strong, and I wasn’t nervous heading into yesterday.  This is in stark contrast to when I ran LA in 2014 — I was a ball of nerves the entire week before because I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, even though I realized no one really cares about my time except for me.

Anyway,  my parents generously agreed to come up to Ventura with me on Saturday.  We hit up packet pick-up at Ventura High School on our way, which was a huge chaotic mess. I loved this race but their organization was awful at packet pick-up.  Various unmarked lines and very little space for the number of people it was trying to accommodate.  Also, the expo was really tiny and there wasn’t much going on, but it at least made it relatively easy to make quick work of it.

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My parents and I headed to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura which was great — we walked onto Main Street for an early dinner at Bombay Burger Bar which beyond hit the spot.  I’m pretty sure if you’re craving something the day before a marathon you should not deny yourself that craving and my body was telling me I needed a hamburger.  Granted,  my body tells me this a lot, but I listened on a pre-race day.  It was insanely hard to watch my Dad have a couple of beers while I drank water.  But there’s a first time for everything.

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I managed to get to sleep around 9:30, which was helpful because my alarm was set to 3:15.  This race shuttles everyone from Ventura up to the start in Ojai, and my shuttle time was 4 a.m.  Waking up that early is never easy, but pre-race adrenaline got me going, and once I got to Ojai I ran into my #DTLARunning buddies Alvaro, Cynthia, Kevin, and Kendra and that helped pass the time.  On the shuttle,  I met a guy who had done this race before who suggested I stay to the left because sometimes the water stations are only one side.  That tip came in handy later on.

My race strategy was to conserve the first 10, pick up the pace the second 10, and to hang on for the last 6.  This worked very well for the first 20 – and the first part of the race was nothing short of euphoric.  We started in Ojai and essentially did a big loop to add mileage.  I was hovering in between the 3:28 and 3:33 pacer for this portion.  There’s one very gradual uphill for about a mile at mile 6 and I made a conscious effort to slow my pace and not to push it.  My iPod was set to shuffle and everything was on-point, one great song after another.  I had this amazing feeling of “this is going to be my day…I’m going to shatter my PR.”  Even the signs were inspired.  My two favorites were ones that said “One if By Land – Boston Bound” and “San Diego – 200 miles.  Boston – 22 miles” held by someone at mile 4.

  • Mile 1: 8:00
  • Mile 2: 7:53
  • Mile 3: 7:36
  • Mile 4: 7:44
  • Mile 5: 7:37
  • Mile 6: 8:11
  • Mile 7: 8:07
  • Mile 8: 7:54
  • Mile 9: 7:31
  • Mile 10: 7:20

The miles were sort of blurring together and before I knew it I was at mile 10.  At this point I realized I could pick it up if I wanted to, so I accelerated when I felt like it and used the downhill.  I passed the 3:28 pacer.  And then I passed the 3:23 pacer. I knew I’d slow down once we got to the flat portion for the last 5 miles or so, but I figured this would give me a solid buffer to still BQ.

  • Mile 11: 7:33
  • Mile 12: 7:19
  • Mile 13: 7:05
  • (1:40:xx at the half)
  • Mile 14: 7:17
  • Mile 15: 7:39
  • Mile 16: 7:49
  • Mile 17: 8:02

Around this point I started to get a little bit tired, so I started walking through the water stations.  It was starting to get hot, and this portion of the bike path did not have a lot of cloud cover.  Based on my rough math,  I thought I could slow to a 9 min/mile average and still BQ, so with small walk breaks I’d be about 9 minutes per mile with my running pace still around 8 minutes/mile.

  • Mile 18: 8:49
  • Mile 19: 8:34
  • Mile 20: 8:51

Somewhere in the 21st mile is when things got rough.  I started to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms earlier in my race, and I had taken a salt pill to try and prevent them from taking over. In mile 21 I took another pill, and walked A LOT.  At one point when we made the turn off the bike path, I started running again and BOOM.   Both calves instantly seized up at the same time.  Every time I tried to run, they’d be okay for maybe a minute or so, and then spasm again.  Literally charley horse after charley horse with both calves.

  • Mile 21: 8:30
  • Mile 22: 12:39

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I thought I’d maybe have a chance If I could get my calves to cooperate, but by now the 3:23 and 3:28 pacers were long gone.   At this point, I saw my parents who were cheering.  I told them “it’s gonna be close” as I ran by — I was still hanging with the 3:33 pacer.  Little did I know my calves would only get worse, essentially leaving me to walk the last 3 miles. Every time I would try to run both calves would seize.  

  • Mile 23: 8:23
  • Mile 24: 11:46
  • Mile 25: 12:58
  • Mile 26: 12:42
  • You can see the pain.

    You can see the pain.

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    Total Time:  3:46:11

    This was unbelievably disappointing — I never really felt like I went into glycogen debt and I felt strong most of the way.  I crossed the finish line and started to cry.  Not from the disappointment of missing the BQ — I frankly did not deserve it with that race and that day will come.  What frustrated me is how EVERYTHING else was perfect — my nutrition,  the course, the music, the weather…Ugh.

    I rallied myself to a slow walk back to the hotel, showered, and took some standard social media photos.

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    Later, my mom did some research and we think poor hip extension is the cause of my muscle spasms/charley horses.   So I will definitely be working on that and adding yoga into my routine.

    Overall, I am proud of what I accomplished yesterday and I loved the race.  The course was BEAUTIFUL and FAST.  I didn’t love miles 17-19, but I would know that for future years and plan accordingly.  I also loved that the race started at 6 AM – making it much easier to beat the heat, since it never really got THAT hot, although it did get sunny.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon eating In-n-Out and drinking an IPA while watching Pitch Perfect with my mom.  Fat Amy’s “horizontal running” even seems too taxing right now…

    Thank you to EVERYONE who sent me positive vibes and social media likes the last couple of days.  Yesterday was an emotional ride but so worth it.

    LA Marathon Expo (or, the one where I kicked it with Ryan Hall).

    12 Mar

    I had such a great time at the LA Marathon Expo, I went to it twice…so obviously my experience merited its own blog post!

    I went to the expo on Saturday, the day before the marathon, and met my friend Katherine there.  It was nice to catch up in real life for a little bit and talk all things marathon.  We perused the Asics store and bought shirts (everything LA Marathon-branded was 50% off!), picked up our bibs, and perused the expo itself.

    We took standard pre-race pics…

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    …and found our names on the giant wall

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    holy massive shoulders…

    We bopped around a little to the booths, got some snacks, but made relatively quick work of the expo.  We wished each other good luck in the race the next day.  It’s weird, but for some reason race expos calm my nerves a little bit.  I think it’s something about the energy of other people who “get it” is oddly comforting. This is the most nervous I had been for any race, ever and I’m not sure why.  I really enjoyed being at the expo, though.

    Before I met up with Katherine, I participated in the Asics Treadmill Challenge.  This was a treadmill set to LA Marathon course record pace (4:45 minute miles, or 12.4 mph).  The challenge is to run on the treadmill for as long as possible, while strapped to a harness in case you fall off.  While this is a cool idea regardless, it made even cooler for me because for every minute people spent on the treadmill, Asics was donating $5 to Back on My Feet!  So cool.

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    My goal was to spend one minute on the treadmill.  I ended up lasting 2:31, which happened to be the longest any woman lasted on it the whole day!

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    That was a huge surprise, and I also won a pair of Asics as a result!  I was shocked — I am NOT fast and just figured all of the actual fast people were too busy being smart pre-race and not sprinting for kicks.

    And I also realized this equates to a PR in the 800 m distance (my fastest time in HS track was 2:32).  Weird.

    I left the expo for awhile to grab food (pizza was necessary) and then came back to meet up with my best friend Whitney, who happens to do PR for Asics.  She was meeting with a reporter for KNX and scurrying around the expo with the members of the LA Marathon Blogger Challenge.  It was so cool seeing her in her element.  I chatted with her a little and then watched as the Asics athletes talked to the Legacy Runners – the individuals who have run the LA Marathon all 29 years of its existence.  Pretty cool stuff.  I spotted Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor, two legends in distance running, and Whitney helped me snag a picture with Ryan.

    I figured this was a good omen for the race…

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    twinzies.

    I decided to leave the expo shortly after and get off my feet.  I laid out Flat Gillian and met my parents for dinner at a local italian place that had abysmal service and almost caused me to implode due to nervousness and anxiety, but eventually the hangriness subsided and I calmed down.

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    I loved the expo even though it wasn’t really anything THAT unusual.  I think I love Expos because they are the Christmas Eve to the race day’s Christmas morning — the excitement is in the anticipation.

    What are your pre-race rituals?

    LA Marathon.

    10 Mar

    Yesterday I ran my second full marathon – the Asics LA Marathon.  This race has special significance to me (I’m from LA, duh).  It was a challenge and tested me, but it was a great day.  I PR’d by over 5 minutes with a time of 3:44:01.

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    But first let me re-cap the race.  The LA Marathon, to me, has always been “the” marathon I wanted to conquer.  I remember seeing finishers as a little girl randomly on a marathon Sunday, and being stunned by the fact these ordinary people had run 26.2 freakin’ miles. I trained for the 2012 LA Marathon but got a DNS due to IT band issues.  I was able to catch my Dad for miles 15-18 – an amazing and emotional experience for me.

    This year, I was determined to complete the LA Marathon.  I trained smarter than I ever have — yoga once a week, cross-training, more longer runs, etc.  I tried to race smarter too – not going out too fast, hydrating aggressively, and being more cautious about my nutrition.  My ultimate goal was to BQ (3:34:59).  If not, I wanted to break 3:40.  If I couldn’t do that, I’d be happy with sub 3:45, or a PR, or just to finish the race.

    I did not qualify for Boston.  I did not go sub 3:40.  But I am really happy with my performance — the last 8 miles were in 80 degree weather with very little shade.  I didn’t “bonk” in the sense where I didn’t feel like my body went into glycogen debt, but the heat got me in those later miles, forcing walk breaks which brought my 8:13 pace down closer to 9:00.

    The morning began when my alarm went off at 4 am.  Due to lovely DST, that was really like 3 am because we lost an hour.  Cool.  I headed over to Echo Park (after Tiger Balming and taping my feet, eating oatmeal, sipping coffee, and getting my shit together) to pick up my friend Andres, and his friend Andres. (Not making this up).  We got to Dodger Stadium at 5:15 and parked.

    We spent the next couple of hours waiting in line for the bathroom, enjoying Dodger Stadium, and hanging with other members of our DTLA Running Group.  It was so nice being with people before hand – it definitely helped settle my nerves.

    Me and Kendra before the start.

    Me and Kendra before the start. (photo credit: instagram.com/nottirednoel)

    The sunrise looked like this.  LA is the best.

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    I got into my corral (B) at 7:00 for a 7:25 start.  The kid who sang the national anthem struggled.

    I was much closer to the front, but I wanted to share a photo from my friend Andres so you can get an idea of how massive the field was (>25,000 people!).

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    The first few miles were great — we cruised out of Dodger Stadium, into Chinatown, and through DTLA and Little Tokyo.  These are the streets I train on, and I was so happy to be starting, enjoying the sites and the morning that I didn’t even feel the first big hill (up from Little Tokyo to the Walt Disney Concert Hall).  I saw my parents in the 2nd mile which was a great kick-off to the morning.

    My mom takes marathon spectating seriously.  (Payback is gonna be intense when she joins the 26.2 club!!)  Just gotta figure out who her doppelganger is (see sign in Century City).

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    I saw Jinouth, a friend of mine from LLS at the top of the big hill in DTLA which was an awesome little boost as well!

    Leaving DTLA was a little bit of a drag because I knew it’d be a few miles before I saw anything I considered scenic (except for Echo Park Lake).  I really enjoyed seeing all of the signs and spectators out there — there were some great ones.  Some of my favs from the day:

    • Run if you can, Walk if you Must, but finish for Boston
    • May the Course Be With You
    • Worst Parade Ever
    • Touch Here for Power!
    • Fuck the Time Change
    • Is Gu Paleo?
    • If this were easy, it’d be called Your Mom
    • Toenails are for Sissies
    • Running is Gangster
    • You’re Running Faster than LA Traffic
    • I don’t always orgasm out loud, but when I do I’m foam rolling

    I trekked along Sunset through Echo Park, Silver Lake, and East Hollywood.  I felt good and was probably clocking 8:00 average miles, maybe a little faster.  I saw my parents again at Hollywood and Highland.

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    I was feeling great and really enjoying the morning at this point!

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    I got to see Aviva at the half-way mark in West Hollywood (as well as her friend Kyle).  She had a cute sign and they were jumping up and down, cheering, and wearing Mardi Gras beads.  Entering WeHo was fun.  I used to live there, so I was familiar with the route.  I knew I had friends and family up ahead, and I was familiar with miles 15-18 because I had run them two years before with my Dad.

    I saw my friend Bryan at mile 15 and YELLED his name because he was far away and wasn’t paying attention. Typical.  I fussed around trying to open a shot blok pack most of that mile, and spotted Tiffany (Running Hutch) before making the left onto Doheny.

    My roommate Jenn was at Doheny and Beverly — so great seeing her as I headed into Beverly Hills (the stretch on Burton Way is NOT my favorite – sort of a snoozefest and reminded me of San Vicente…ick).

    I saw the parentals again as I headed into Century City.  I chuckled at my mom’s “doppelganger” sign.  She made one for my Dad two years ago, indicating that he was Bob Costas. (They look a lot alike).  Here’s the one she made for me:

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    Lauren Conrad does, however, have a multi-million empire and three different multi-million dollar homes.  And a rockstar fiancé.  So there’s that.

    Around Mile 19 it started to get really hot. and boring.  The remainder of Century City is devoid of any cool landmarks, and then we headed into the Veterans Administration which lasts forever and was HOT.  In mile 19, I started walking through water stations, drinking a gatorade and a water and pouring water on my head. When I was running, I was still maintaining 8:15ish pace, but my overall pace slowed because I had to walk a little those last few miles.

    When I came out of the VA 10 hours later, I thought it would be smooth sailing — but I forgot that San Vicente is long and sort of boring.  Luckily, I spotted my friend Franny after mile 22. She was jumping and screaming and it was so great getting 1/100th of her energy.

    photo from Franny at mile 22

    photo from Franny at mile 22

    Doesn’t this picture just LOOK like it’s hot out? I also loved the Lululemon cheering station.  I saw my friend Dani and she was so excited — I wish the whole course was lined with Lululemon cheerers!

    Side-note: Thank GOD for Thirty48.  No blisters on my feet and no charley horses. I felt a TINY twinge at mile 19 and never again.

    I mozeyed my way down San Vicente. I saw my Back on My Feet peeps at 23.5 — I was really feeling it and yelled “I need some love, guys!!”  My friend Kim made a sign for me and I saw ons of our Res members, Gordy.  I almost asked him to run with me, but I couldn’t get the words out.  I also ran into a woman from my spin class out there — it was so great having so many supporters!!

    After what felt like an eternity, I crossed mile 25, determined that the walk breaks were over and I ran the entire last mile at about an 8 minute pace.  The final stretch lasted FOREVER and I crossed at 3:44:01, 8:33 average pace, and 26.4 on my Garmin.  I still have a ways to go, but I’m happy with my performance!

    I walked over to 3rd and Broadway and met up with my parents who drove me back to my car at Dodger Stadium.  It was a struggle to walk and I was cranky.

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    Later in the day yesterday I met up with some DTLA running peeps for beer and grub at our usual post-run spot, Big Wangs.  I beer’d and burger’d.

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    photo credit: instagram.com/nottirednoel

    busted.

    busted.

    It was so nice sharing stories and trading experiences from yesterday, even if my lower body is completely immobile and my face is sunburned, even with a hat and sunscreen.

    I had a great experience with the LA Marathon and am so happy to have accomplished it.  I am so grateful for all of your support and learned a lot that I will carry with me the next time I do one of these crazy things!

    Check back soon for a break down of the expo!

    Did you run LA? How’d it go for you?  

    Favorite part of the day for anyone — runners, spectators, etc.? 

    sock love. [Thirty48 ambassador program].

    21 Feb

    I know, I know, I haven’t been blogging so much lately.  Not sure why that is — maybe I’m going through a slump where I don’t think I’m doing much that’s blog-worthy? Or my training is sort of monotonous because the LA Marathon is coming up? And law school is well…law school?

    Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I got an amazing opportunity to work with a new, southern CA sock brand, Thirty48.  I first heard about them through my friend Kristina. She’s a seriously speedy runner so I thought hey, if they’re good enough for her…

    For the next six months, we’ll be working together — I’ll be sporting Thirty48 gear and writing about it, and they’ll be sending me gear and essentially sponsoring me as I work toward some of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions.  Remember those?

    Anyway, I met with the marketing team at Thirty48 and we went over some of my goals (PR in the full marathon, injury prevention, running smart) and it seemed like a perfect fit.

    1902729_444825038980513_741835699_n  They hooked me up with a swag bag including 4 pairs of socks (two running, two cycling) and a pair of compression sleeves.

    IMG_5815I’d tried out the socks before and LOVED how they kept my toes blood and blister free through long mileage.

    A few days after I met with Thirty48, I ran 20 miles in my new compression sleeves, as well as the socks.  These are now my favorite compression sleeves — I like just how snug they are and that they’re super long — they go almost all of the way up to my knee.  After the run, (20 freakin’ miles!)  I didn’t have a single blister or weird toe ailment.  The only lingering pain I had was a slight soreness on the top of my foot, which I think is indicative of it being time for new shoes (new Brooks Addictions are on their way — just in time for me to put 40-50 miles on them before the marathon).

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    Anyway,  I’m excited about tackling my goals with Thirty48’s help (although not totally sure they can teach me to surf or help me read more for leisure this year — but who knows).

    Have you checked out Thirty48?

    Check them out on Facebook for a chance to win a free pair!

    love you long (run) time.

    12 Feb

    Please accept my sincere apologies with the sporadic blogging.  I’ve been busy — but mostly I’ve been absent because my computer died on Sunday night.  I should have known better to try and install OS X.  No worries, Old Faithful will be back in my hands tomorrow.

    Since I last posted, I have logged two long runs — I did 14 miles last Monday morning, and 20 this Monday, and both were fantastic.  I wanted to share a few aspects of what made them so great.

    First, I love running on Monday mornings.  For me, it is mentally easier to kick off the week with a long run, rather than have it looming over me all week.  Also, it’s nice to be able to stay up later drink more IPAs on Friday and Saturday nights.

    I also realized that NOT doing a straight out-and back run helps immensely.  For my 14-miler,  I ran 8.5 miles out along Wilshire, came back 5.5, and then hopped on the metro the last 3.  It was so much more entertaining because I had that many more new, fun things to keep me entertained.

    A little bit after mile 6 I stopped at LACMA’s Urban Light exhibit…

    IMG_5780… and then cruised through the infamous Rodeo Drive a few miles later…

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    My turn around point was Wilshire and Santa Monica, where I snapped this pic: IMG_5790This run was relaxed and relatively speedy — I felt fine and could have kept going.  When I stopped at Mile 14, I hit up a 7-11 for a big bottle of water before hopping on the metro to take me from K-Town back to DTLA. 

    I carried what I’ve been learning from these training runs into my 20 miler this week.  I mapped out a 20 mile route that my #DTLARunning group had done a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily,  my mom had the morning free and was going to be in LA, and offered to give me a ride from Santa Monica when I finished back to my apartment so I could shower and get ready for my 1:10 p.m. class.  I started downtown around 7:15 and took my time.  Most of the morning was spent along Sunset and Hollywood Blvd., and then I took Wilshire through Beverly Hills and Westwood, crossed the 405, and ended up in Brentwood for a few miles before ending up in Santa Monica (Wilshire and 26th).

    I packed Clif Bloks (in Margarita flavor, duh) and took 3 of them every 5 miles (I took the last 3 at mile 18).

    Surprisingly, my favorite place to run was in Hollywood, on Hollywood.   There was NO ONE on the street or the sidewalk at that hour, and I occupied myself reading all of the different names on the stars I passed.   I took this shot around mile 9:

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    At Mile 10, I found a 7-11, bought a water,  fiddled with my iPhone, and took some Clif Bloks before I headed back out.

    I cruised along and took water around mile 14 again at some drinking fountains in Beverly Hills.

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    The run just sort of zipped along — it did NOT feel like I had spent about 2 hours and 40 minutes running.  As my run started clipping into the ‘teens, I kept thinking — there’s no way this is mile 16, maybe I’m only at mile 6?  And then I realized that I was in Westwood which is WAY more than 6 miles from DTLA.

    I was surprised at how great I felt.  The combination of dressing smartly, taking a couple of salt pills, wearing Thirty48 socks and compression sleeves (love!) and being smart about fueling made this a great and enjoyable run.

    I was also impressed by my pace — I kept an 8:13 average for the first 10 and a 7:57 average for the second 10.   Negative splits are HUGE for me and would be amazing to accomplish on marathon day — so I like the idea of starting out slow, warming up, and easing into BQ pace.  At the end, I felt tired (duh!) but not SUPER fatigued.  I felt sore, but not debilitated.  And I felt like I could have kept going, if I had to.

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    I am pumped about where I’m at with my training and I’m looking forward to March 9th! From here on out it’s focusing on maintenance, injury prevention (read: yoga on yoga on yoga) and making sure I’m good to go for race day.

    [Thanks again for being my shuttle, mom!]

    When’s your next race?

    Do you have any training strategies?