Ragnar Checklist

This weekend will be my second Ragnar So Cal race and as the day gets closer, I am getting more excited! We have more than half of our team reuniting from our first Ragnar. I am excited for not only the fun weekend but also a weekend getaway once we finish and most importantly a chance to redeem myself from the last Ragnar. Our team met on Friday to go over the last minute logistics. While I was a coach last time for our team, it was extremely easy to just be a participant this year. There has not been as much work which has led me to being excited for the race instead of stressed out.

Training and Running Lately

Before our meeting on Friday night, I headed out for an easy run just to move a little on my rest day. I did two miles a little slower than my race pace and my pace felt very comfortable! It is amazing what training and Orangetheory have done for my fitness in the past 6 months. For the race I am the first runner so my legs are: 2.30 miles (easy), 4.00 miles (easy) and 7.90 miles (very hard). I am so pumped for the first two legs because a flat road will allow me to really test my race pace. The last leg is going to really challenge me as a runner but I am excited for the challenge! My pace has increased, my legs have felt great and my recovery time has been faster.

Ragnar Relay So Cal Recap Part 3

Ragnar Checklist

These are the things I learned from my last race that are vital to have over the long weekend with no showers, lots of running and various weather. Our team agreed this year it would be best to individually handle our own food and drink for the weekend which means chocolate milk all weekend for me! :) Besides food and drink, these are the things each runner must have on them for Ragnar:

  • 3 sets of running clothes (1 for each leg)
  • 3 large ziplock bags for each outfit (great for storing those smelly clothes after)
  • Running shoes
  • Compression socks for your recovery
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Change of clothes for in between legs
  • Jacket for night (especially at the beach)
  • Baby / Body wipes
  • Sunblock
  • Car phone charger (be sure to check what your car uses for chargers)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Personal toiletries- medicine, glasses, etc.
  • Extra toilet paper and towels
  • Deodorant (this is a must for obvious reasons)
  • Run gear: Earbuds, water bottle, watch tracker, etc.
  • Cash/ Credit Card/ DL
  • Pillow and/or blanket
  • First aid (bandaids, antibiotic cream, ice pack, etc.)

Good luck to all who are participating in Ragnar this weekend!!

Run Revel Recap

As I sit writing up this recap, I am sporting compression socks and KT Tape after having just taken some ibuprofen. On the same note, I am still riding the high of getting a half marathon PR at the Run Revel Canyon City Half Marathon! I went into this race with the goal to utilize the net loss on this course and finally get that new PR.

Revel Race Start

On Saturday morning we made our way to the race at 4:30am to be bused up to the start line. Boy was it cold at the start but the race provided blankets (wow did they work), beanies and throw away gloves. The sunrise from the start was beautiful as we made our way to the start line. I read from past runners that the race just starts without warning. Even despite my constant warnings to my husband to be ready to just start running, I was still shocked when someone at the start line shouted “we are going.” The first few miles I was expecting rolling hills so I told myself to take it easy for the first few miles. Although the first 4 miles had a lot of downhill, there was a net gain which I felt early on. But I stuck with telling myself to maintain slow and steady through the first 6 miles and evaluate how I feel after.

A Rough Finish

After miles 6 there was a net loss but still some notable climbing and where my shins starting feeling the rolling hills I had done. At this point, I was still on track to hit a PR with a few minutes to spare so until miles 10, my goal was to maintain a steady pace and leave myself at least 5 minutes to work with in that last 5K. Thank goodness I had that buffer because it saved me in the last 2 miles. At miles 11, I started hurting. I would alternate walking and running but at this point, everything started to hurt. My knees would hurt when I ran but my shins and feet hurt when walking. When I got to mile 12 I realized this was going to be a push to the last second. As I rounded the corner in the last mile, there was a small climb in front of me and I thought my PR was out the door. Thankfully, the hubby finished (he PR’d again this half) before me and told me that after the last small climb it was a downhill finish. I chugged (VERY very slowly) up the last climb and gave everything I had in the last .20 miles into the finish line. I have never run so fast and as I crossed that finish line, I am so happy I did because I PR’d by 3 seconds. Seconds are seconds and it was a PR no matter what.


Although tough at times, this definitely is one of my favorite races. It was very well organized, offered a beautiful course and heavily supported. The expo was very easy to get in and out (even though it was more like a packet pick-up with limited amount of vendors). In the bag received with my bib, I also go the cold weather items mentioned above which came in handy at the start line. There were aid stations about every 2 miles with water, Gatorade and some offered fuel. Although the mountains did not allow for spectators until the last 1 miles, the scenery more than made up for that. I stopped a few times to snap a picture because it was so gorgeous. Overall, this was one of the best races I have participated in and the new PR only made it better!

Tell me: Would you rather run downhill or uphill? I always thought I loved downhill but with my knees and shin problems, I would prefer uphill!

OC Half Marathon 2016 Recap

Where do I begin? First and foremost, the OC Half Marathon is truly one of the prettiest courses. When I figured out that I wasn’t going to get a PR, I sent a txt to my mom saying I would at least enjoy a scenic run. Scenic it was. I love every single part of the race from the start at Fashion Island to crossing that finish line at the Costa Mesa Fairgrounds. As mentioned on Monday, the expo was great. The expo got me even more excited for race weekend. The expo is like a first day of school to me. I get little butterflies, just want to lay my outfit out and hurry to bed to get to the morning.

   

The first two miles went by quickly. I enjoyed hitting Pacific Coast Highway and running along side the beach after mile 2. I ran the first 5K with the hubby who was just kicking butt and I felt my knee already tightening up. I told him to go on without me and kept my pace until the 10K. I love running through the residential and commercial areas of Newport Beach that the first 6 miles went by quick. Even slowing down a bit, I was still on track for a PR until mile 8. It went downhill (and definitely not literally) from that point. At mile 8, I felt like I was in slow motion as my knee gave out. Thank goodness, I didn’t fall hard as I got myself up and hobbled off to the side. From that point, I still thought I could meet my race goal. I walked to the next aid station, drank a lot of water and started jogging. A few minutes of jogging became a consistent half mile walk with a half mile jog. At this time, I hit the Newport Beach Bay which provides views of the bay, boats and beautiful homes. I took some pictures in my walking breaks and by mile 9, I knew my PR was gone, I expected positive splits and decided to enjoy the rest of the race. Especially knowing that hill in mile 11 was coming, I knew it wasn’t worth it to push myself. At mile 11, luckily there is a large aid station to help distract from the large hill coming. Unfortunately, last year my legs were ready for any hills thanks to Ragnar. This year, that hill was a beast. I jogged up the entire hill and slowed down once I reached the top but I did it! The last two miles went quickly as there were more supporters leading up to the finish line.

I can say that for the first time in a race, I stopped at every single aid station. Besides my knee, my body felt great. Usually negative self talk will creep in when I see my goal is not obtainable but I knew I would finish. I was proud of everything my body had gotten through even if my time was a little slower than planned. It wasn’t my worst race, it wasn’t my best race. I finished 10 minutes past my half marathon last year but I crossed that finish line smiling with a fist pump!

 After crossing the finish line, I saw the hubby who had PR’d by over 15 minutes! I was so proud of him, it made the finish line even better. I got my amazing medal, took a few pictures and headed to the VIP tent with the OC Marathon to rest my knee.

A special thank you to the OC Marathon supporters – the Ambassador team, the police officers, all of the support aid and those who signed up for the race through me! I look forward to this amazing race against next year. 

 

Weekly Workouts & Running Updates

A little late on a Wednesday but still a Wednesday nonetheless! I am getting more and more excited about the OC Marathon coming up in a few weeks. Running has continued to be a huge stress release during the week and something I crave throughout a rough day. The two things that are really helping with my running – I finally found my Garmin and I got new Asics!

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I shared on Instagram, that I got a new pair of GT2000 Asics a few weeks ago. After a couple of runs, I am so happy with these shoes. They feel great and haven’t given me a single problem (knock on wood because I do not need any issues). Funny thing about these shoes, I would not have been caught dead in them a few years back. For some reason, I have never liked extremely bright shoes. I have always preferred grey, black or white with a very small hint of color. I have noticed slowly my eyes getting just a little bit more color with each purchase. This time I just went for it. I saw these shoes, loved the mint and went they fit perfectly, I just had to have them!

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Another great find – my Garmin. That poor watch has been sitting in a box being unused. I am so happy to have finally found my beloved Garmin 220. I had misplaced it when moving and found it about two months ago. However, somehow the charger ended up in a completely different place. The worst part, I discovered it two months after the fact, in a box I walk by 10x a day. Go figure! I am just glad I have in while training and will be thrilled to have it during my race.

Weekly Workouts: Half Training

weekly-workouts

My half training this week was exactly as I wanted (and needed) it to be. With only Less than a month until the OC Half Marathon and let me tell you, I am super excited. While my mileage is about a week behind schedule, my pace on every run has been above par. So I am hoping the two even each other come May 1st. Per the usual, my strength training and cross training were consistent this week.

Wednesday – 1 hour cycle class

Thursday – 5 miles

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 1 hour cycle class followed by 2 miles run

Sunday – 1 hour cycle class and leg workout

Monday –  Two 1 hour cycle classes

Tuesday –  1 hour cycle class and 1 mile run

Wednesday –  5 miles

Check back tomorrow for a Travel Thursday post! 

Week 1: OC Half Training

Let me tell you, for the past week I had, I am patting myself on the back for working out and meeting my step goal all but one day! I had to push my half training out a week due to the upcoming crazy weekend.  Before we get to the workouts though, a little rewind to the long (and much needed) President’s Day weekend.  This weekend was all about finishing the final wedding details. Don’t even get me started about my feelings on everything that goes into the details of a wedding. That is a different topic for a different day. On Friday night, we went over our best friend’s house after a very hectic day at work. Luckily, there was a cute baby to hold so all the stress of the week was forgotten for a bit. My night involved an unscheduled rest day with In-N-Out (hey at least I skipped the fries) but at that point I did not care.

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Saturday was a much different story. By 10am, I had taught a class, got a workout in, stopped at Starbucks and the bank. I love my weekend classes for this reason, they force me to not be a sloth all the time. From the moment I returned home, we cleaned, organized, planned, packed and ran more errands, all for the wedding. This week I am only working three days as we will be driving out to Malibu on Friday. Therefore, I knew I had to stay on top of everything I needed to accomplish. I worked on our map seating chart which I will be sure to share after the wedding for my fellow travel lovers. We did enjoy a nice BBQ at night with my parents. brother and future SIL.  Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with another cycle class and more preparations for the wedding. Our night ended on a nice note because we got to watch Deadpool. Although I did not like waiting in line (face palm for thinking Valentine’s Day night was a good idea) the movie was very funny and entertaining. I would highly recommend it!

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We finished our long weekend, down by the beach in Malibu. We had our last venue meeting which is 10 miles north of Pacific Coast Highway. After our meeting, we drove down to PCH which was insanely crowded. It took forever to get to find parking, let alone a restaurant. I guess everyone else had the idea to enjoy the unusually warm weather we have been having in California. We finally made it to a restaurant and enjoyed a delicious, ocean view ‘linner’ at Duke’s before we relaxed on the beach. The traffic heading home was bumper to bumper, we called it a night when we got home, exhausted and tired.

weekly-workouts

It has been quite awhile since I did a Weekly Workouts post but with my half training in full progress, they will be making a comeback. As seen above, my major fail this week was my Friday.  otherwise, I was happy with the workouts I squeezed in. My mileage is increasing just a bit this week but I know for a fact I will need to switch my Friday REST day with Saturday. I will not be running at all on my wedding day, unless running around like a chicken with no head counts? Here are my workouts (on the schedule vs actual) from the past week.

Sunday

On the Schedule: Strength/ Cross- Training
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class and free weight arm workout

Monday

On the Schedule: 2-3 miles (easy)
Actual Workout: 3 miles, untimed

Tuesday

On the Schedule: Cycle & Strength Training
Actual Workout:  1 hour cycle class followed by a mini bootcamp session (2 rounds of sprints, burpees, wall squats, bicycle crunches and lunges)

Wednesday

On the Schedule: 3 miles (easy)
Actual Workout: 3 miles, untimed

Thursday

On the Schedule: Rest
Actual Workout: Rest

Friday

On the Schedule: 3 miles
Actual Workout: REST (oops, with In-N-Out)

Saturday

On the Schedule: 2-3 miles
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class followed by 2 miles

Sunday

On the Schedule: Strength/ Cross- Training
Actual Workout: 1 hour cycle class and free weight arm workout

 

Tell me: What do you do for your President’s Day weekend? 

Half Marathon Training Plans

Here we are inching closer to February which means we will be exactly 3 months from the OC Half & Full Marathon. I have fully committed to running the half marathon again this year. Every race I run is started with personal goals I try to achieve. I have adopted the ABC goals from Prairie Princess Runners.  Before a race you set an “A” goal (an achievable goal), a “B” goal (more of a stretch) and a “C” goal (which is pushing yourself and basically killing to get there). My “A” goal is always just to finish the race. My “B” and “C” goal usually have to do with a specific time I am trying to achieve.

My ABC Goals and Training Plan for the OC Half

My ABC Goals for the OC Half Marathon are simple and also dictate how my training plan is set up:

“A” Goal: To finish the race whether walking, crawling or running 

“B” Goal: To beat my PR on the half marathon  

“C” Goal: To run a sub 2:00 half marathon

I am most excited about the OC Half Marathon because it has been a while since I raced. Last year I really pushed my body hard. 4 half marathons and a Ragnar race in less than 8 months resulted in aggravating my back problems to their breaking point. Most of my races were completing my “A” goal of finishing which I always accomplished. I am so happy because my back while not completely healed is significantly better and ready to handle race season. The husband and I have been enjoying naked evening runs. Before your mind goes a place it shouldn’t this early in the morning, naked = running without any timer or watch. We simply just ran and it was refreshing. I wanted to get a few open runs under my belt before committing to my training plan. I firmly believe that you should pick a training plan that works for you and your schedule. Don’t set yourself up for failure by creating something you cannot follow. I usually take a half marathon training plan before adding my own schedule of work and teaching to accommodate my running. I am using the SELF 12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan with the days switched to match my teaching schedule. If you are looking for a half marathon training plan, check out the links below for runners of all levels.

Half Marathon Training Plans

Half Marathon Training Plans For All Runners

12-Week Half Marathon Training Program

10-Week First Timer’s Half Marathon Training Plan

14-Week Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan

14-Week Intermediate Half Marathon Training Plan

Hal-Higdon Training Plans

12-Week Beginner’s Half Marathon Training Plan

12 Week Cross Training Half Marathon Training Plan

20-Week Couch to Half Marathon Training Plan

14-Week Nike Half Marathon Training Plan

16-Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Plan

Tell me: Do you set goals before a race?