Running Through Winter

So it’s been a while… Two months to be exact, and I’m not quite sure where to start, so I will start back where we left off with December 2013 and do a little catching up on how I have been running through winter (often times feeling my head has been chopped off).

December 2013

December was on of the craziest and busiest months of my life. It was three weeks of finals for my first semester of law school. It was also the month where my co authors and I presented a white paper at a round table in the middle of finals (that I finished my portion of at 2am the morning of a final – that one hurt). It was also winter vacation back I the frozen tundra and the time I PRed without really being prepared in the half marathon.

So law school exams. They were intense, stressful, and three weeks long. Yes I had about five to seven days between my exams, but when they are law school exams, you need like two weeks between each exam and even that may not be enough. I was mostly happy with my performances on my exams and grades but know there is room for improvement this semester so I am definitely putting the plow in the ground and hitting the books hard.

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Then there was that paper we presented. I had given presentations on research proposals before but had never had a written paper, that professors, scholars and experts in the field had read, thought was interesting and gave feedback on. It was intense but so exciting! And although my co authors and I have a lot of work ahead of us, I know we will have a great paper when we are finished.

I was lucky enough to go home for about ten days after finals. I hadn’t really been in the frozen tundra (MN) since last Xmas, and it was great to have the whole family together. I got to spend time with my parents, siblings and niece all while freezing my buns off. What more could I have asked for?! Oh right, to have had Xmas at my sister’s in Florida where it was 70 not -10. But all in all we had a great time… In our #xmasjammies (oh yes that happened).

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Then there was the winter running. Lots of it happened. And while most of it (admittedly) happened on a TM I did manage a few good runs outside.

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First I ran Run With Santa 5k, and while there were no PRs (it was cold, snowy and slippery) I had a ton of fun with a bunch of my coworkers at the running store. And then I ran a half marathon very last minute. So last minute the name is escaping me, but it was an out and back on a muddy and icy trail…but I still got a PR! 1:44:06! It was by no means my best race (I fell completely apart in the last two miles, but I know that my goals for 2014 are in reach!

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So lots of running happened and life was looking pretty good. And then came January 2014…

January 2014

And life got even better. Didn’t think it was possible, but it did.

I gained a super cute study buddy (no, he is not mine, but sometimes I pretend) and my grades came back mostly positive. So here’s to a good outlooks for semester 2!

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And while I have had a minor foot injury that has set me back in terms of marathoning this spring, I am taking it in stride, and instead focusing on Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and hopefully a spring half marathon back in sunny Santa Cruz after finals are over in May! You know what I’m talking about… The fabulous Capitola Half Marathon!

Also, today I discovered I was one of four featured bloggers on Active Life DC for a panel on how to get out of a fitness rut. Check it out for some great Dc blogs and tips on how myself and the other bloggers keep exercising interesting and fun…and how awkward I can be. It’s so incredibly awkward it’s awesome.

So that’s a little update on my life. I have been very busy but am planning a few posts to come in the next few weeks, and I promise it won’t be another two months.

How has 2014 been treating you so far? Set any fitness or running goals?
Mine is to be as uninsured as possible, hopefully be healthy enough to complete a marathon and to get back into triathlons! Already looking at a few in late August/early September!

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#MCM2013: Training Week 1

In March, I was lucky enough to register for the October 27 Marine Corps Marathon.  This will be my 3rd marathon, and the first marathon I am really training for.  Of course, I have goal times and paces set in mind, but I’ve decided that those are for me, and my close friends.  So while I’m going to share my training (plans and execution), I want my goals to be adjustable to reflect how my training is going and how my body is feeling, especially since October 27 will be approximate anniversary of my diagnosis with lupus.  I know everything can change at the drop of a hat, so I’m keeping my mind very open this training cycle.

So without further ado, my training recap of Week #1 and Plan for Week #2. You can follow me on dailymile where I post my daily workouts as well.

Week #1

The Plan:
Monday: 4 easy
Tuesday: 5 Tempo
Wednesday: 5 easy
Thursday: Active Rest!
Friday: 5 easy
Saturday: 2-3 Shakeout
Sunday: W2W (w/u + 6 mile race + c/d)

What Happened: (In pink is what was planned that actually happened)

Monday: 4 easy (34:50)
Easy run around Santa Clara while staying at my brother’s.  I was tired after my 30+ hours of traveling Saturday/Sunday.

Tuesday: 60 min AquaJog + 5 Tempo (37:50) + 20 arms/abs
AquaJogging is one of my favorite types of crosstraining, so I went in the am.
In the afternoon, my tempo was awesome.  1.5 w/u, 2 tempo (7:05, 6:54) and 1.5 c/d.
Finished it all out with a little arm/ab work as they’d been neglected during my month in Peru

Wednesday: 4.91 track (39:01) + 2.75 elliptical

Track Day!

Track Day!

Was supposed to run easy, but Leslie wanted to hit the track and my legs were feeling good, so I decided to go.  2 w/u, 5×400 (1:28, 1:28, 1:30, 1:30, 1:29) right on pace with ~200 recovery, 1 c/d.
Had time to kill before dinner with a friend so I finished it out with 2.75 (30 min) easy on the elliptical.

Thursday: Active Rest! (60 min easy spin + 1000m swim + 20 arms/abs)
Great active rest day for me!  Took it really easy on the spin bike, worked out some kinks in the pool and hit those arms and abs again pretty hard.

Friday: 5 easy (42:12) + 60 min AquaJog

Hurts So Good

Hurts So Good


Headed out for 5 easy miles and then while foam rolling, ran into Rebecca and we made plans to AquaJog one more time before she left town.  Felt good to shakeout the legs.

Saturday: 2-3 Shakeout (21:47) + 1000m swim + 10 min AquaJog
Did a 2.77 shakeout run with Meg.  17 minutes easy, last 3 minutes tempo with 4×100 strides tacked on the end. Followed this up with a swim and quick aquajog to loosen the muscles up for Sunday’s race.

Sunday: Wharf 2 Wharf Race! (2.31 w/u (21:22), 6 race (45:02) – that c/d never happened) + 2.31 PM (17:33)

SCE Ladies at Wharf 2 Wharf

SCE Ladies at Wharf 2 Wharf

Ran a 2 mi warmup to the start.  Then raced the 6 mile Wharf 2 Wharf.  Had a goal of 42-43 in mind, Landed with a 45:02 (full race recap to come).  Then hit the road again later for an easy 2 miles.

Running Total: ~36 miles
Workout Time Total:
~ 9 hours, 54 min.

I finished the week feeling strong, and ready to jump into Week #2!  Here’s what that plan looks like.

Week #2

The Plan:

Monday: Active Rest! (30 AquaJog + BodyPump)
Tuesday:
5-6 easy
Wednesday:
5 Track + 1200m swim
Thursday:
Active Rest! (60 spin + 60 AquaJog + 20 arms/abs)
Friday:
5-6 easy + 20 arms/abs
Saturday:
7 easy
Sunday: 12 LSD + arms/abs

One thing to note about my plan is that my rest days are generally Active Rest! days.  For me, this means swimming/spinning/AquaJogging — and I take them all very easy in terms of my legs.  They’re mostly my favorite ways to keep my legs moving without too much impact (for example, I almost never stand up in spin class on my Active Rest! days).

**My training plan is a work in progress, and I am not a certified coach or trainer, so if you try it and it doesn’t work, please don’t come try to blame me.  Also don’t try any of this without talking to your doctor or someone who is certified first.  Also this plan may crash and burn, no guarantees — its just what I am doing to try and achieve my goal.**

SF Marathon Weekend + Fabulous 5k

A little (okay, a lot) overdue, but better late than never, right?!

From October 2013 through this past June, I had the opportunity of a lifetime – to be a SF Marathon Ambassador.

ambassador_badge2013-1Along with a number of prior running friends, and new running friends, I was given the opportunity to promote, be a part of, and just have months to get excited about the wonderful SF race.

Fellow SFM Ambassador Meg & I post-race

Fellow SFM Ambassador Meg & I post-race at SJ Giants Race

Duties included writing blog posts, wearing SF Marathon gear (provided by SF Marathon), tweeting about the race and working expo booths at nearby races.  I had a blast doing all of the above, and one of the best perks of all of the above activities was getting to know fellow ambassadors from all around the country.  I had the opportunity to get to know via the Twitter and Facebook, and sometimes IRL, a number of the ambassadors who have definitely inspired me over the past year with all of their accomplishments and perseverance in running, other sports and life in general.  It was truly an incredible group of ambassadors.  And of course, all of these wonderful experiences culminated in the fabulous SF Marathon race weekend June 14-16.

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Decked out in SF Marathon gear

Friday, June 14, Meg and I headed up to SF after our morning run to work a shift at the Tech Center with fellow ambassador Chris M.  The 3 of us, aka #teamninja, had a chance to tweet up and meet up a number of times throughout the course of ambassadorship, and it was exciting to get together again.  And of course, get together with all the other ambassadors and tweet lots of photos…

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Alisyn, Bruce, Meg & I at the Expo (Photo: Alisyn)

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Bruce and Chris M at the Expo (Photo: Chris M)

After working the tech booth, we hit up the Expo to pick up race bibs and eat our way through the Expo (that’s what expos are for, right?!) – or at least Meg & I did, and the 3rd ninja just mocked us mostly in his blindingly bright Sketchers.  Afterward, Meg & I picked up lunch, headed to my friend’s house where we stayed and then got ready for the Ambassador dinner, which was a ton of fun.

Basically the dinner was an opportunity for the SF Marathon to say ‘thanks’ for all of our work, and for all of us to get together and for many, finally meet IRL for the first time, and for others to catch up.  The dinner was held at Osha, the food was great, and the people were even better.

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All the ambassadors who were able to make dinner at Osha (Photo: Someone)

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Typical. (Photo: Albert)

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Alisyn, Daniela, Me and Meg (Photo: Daniela)

Saturday, June 15, Meg & I got up bright and early to do our shakeout run before heading to the morning info session where we helped runners figure out logistics for race day, and answer pretty much any other random question runners might have.  After a loooooong morning, we had a tweet up at the tech center, which involved more tweets, photos, and lots of tired ambassadors.

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Exhausted at the Expo. (Photo: Albert)

Then, it was time to hit WholePaycheck with Meg & Daniela and we headed back to eat sushi dinner before hitting the hay at — yes, yes this is completely true — 7:00pm.  But hey, with a 3:45am wakeup call, it was perfectly acceptable.

Sunday, June 16 was raceday and we had to be there briiiight and early for the 5:30am start as Meg was running the first half and in Corral 1, so her start time was 5:32am.  Since I was only running the 5k, I had until like 7:30, but it was still fun to hang out and see everyone get excited/ready for their events.

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All smiles at 4:30am…and actively tweeting

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Me, Paulette and Alisyn before they headed out to the 2nd half marathon start in Team Sparkle skirts!

And then finally after hours of hanging out in the VIP area (as ambassadors we were gifted free access, which was amazing and totally worth the $100 — if I have extra income in the future and am presented with the option of VIP, I will TOTALLY take advantage of it.  Clean, FLUSHING toilets?  And delicious pre- and post-race food?  Sign me up!), it was time for my 5k.

I had my sights set high for the 5k.  It was flat (my dream 5k course), and I my paces had been increasing, however as soon as the gun went off, I knew I was doomed.  My legs were heavy as cement.  And holding a 7:00 pace (10 seconds slower than my PR pace) was hard.  I finished in 22:30 (which is NOTHING to cry home about), but it was about 1:30 off my goal time.  But still, I pushed as hard as I could, and that’s all that I can ask for.  I didn’t leave anything behind — a 22:30, that was all I had.

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Meg & I just after I finished the 5k (and after she had finished her 1/2 marathon)

Afterward, we headed over to the marathon finish to see some of the ambassadors finish.  Chris K was pacing the 3:05 team, and Keith S. came in just ahead, and Chris M. finished right behind with a nice PR.  And then we hung around a little bit longer, before heading out.  But not before taking a few shots of the am-BADASS-adors…

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Am-BADASS-adors Mary Kelly, Me and Meg

And not before I was able to see Pavement Runner finish while running my cooldown.  And he knocked out a fantastic course PR!

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Pavement Runner & I at the finish (Photo: Pavement Runner)

And then, Meg & I hopped in the car (which was parked at our super rockstar 4-blocks-from-the-start-on-the-street-so-we-had-free-parking parking spot) and headed home.  We were both exhausted, but it was a wonderful, fun, friend-filled, race-tastic weekend.  Let me tell you, SF Marathon knows how to put on not only a fantastic race, but an incredible race weekend.  I am definitely looking forward to another SF Marathon weekend (whether its next year or further down the road) and tackling another one of the courses — whether its the 1st half, 2nd half or full.  Its definitely a race I’m going to keep coming back to.

Have you ever run the SF Marathon?  What is your favorite race weekend/race ever?