I Hate Running. So of course I signed up for a Half Marathon!

I hate running. I’ve said it before on here and I’ve said it to my friends a million times. My runner friends get it and completely agree. My non-runner friends don’t quite understand.

la con

I was chatting with my sister who like for me is a runner and who, also like me, hates running sometimes and just wants to sit a run out every now and then! I keep telling myself that NYCM training has already started and yet… I find myself giving myself an excuse to not go workout more often than not.  In fact, I woke up the other day telling myself I didn’t want to get burned out on running so early into my training so I’m going to switch my focus to strength training and getting my legs strong for the next month. Well, that was the plan…

Then after I had THIS exact conversation my sister, I signed up for 2 runs! 1 is a short one.-3.5 miles. My work (I work w/ Police) is doing a Special Olympics Torch Run. I ran it last year with some coworkers and it was really fun. We all took turns running in the front of the pack holding the torch and then for the last mile the Special Olympians joined us and ran back to the Police Station. They were all so cute and fun. 1 little man took off like a bullet! Even the fastest officer could barely keep up with him. Then we all hung out and had a big BBQ in the courtyard. It was a real special run and I’m so excited to do it again this year!

And then I found out I got a vacation day off in June I requested but didn’t think I’d actually get the time. So since I did, I guess I better run a half! I signed up for the Wildfire Half Marathon in Pinetop. Only SIX weeks away! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a short window for training (and let’s be super honest. I haven’t been running at tip top shape lately) so I have absolutely no excuses now! Beast mode time!!

PLUS I already have 2 other races already on the books! Pat’s run that’s kinda a big deal around these parts. The race is crowded! but only 4.2 miles. And then the Hope 10K on April 30th.  That’s about a marathon worth of miles right there!

Another 5K in the books: 5K for Heroes Recap

On Wednesday, Admin at my work sent out an email asking if anyone wanted to participate in the 5K for Heroes that was that very Saturday. I think I was the only was that said, “I’m in!” So this is the first of 3 races (all small, 10K and under) of April and then another short one in the beginning of May.

It’s been pretty helpful using these as tempo runs. A major goal this training cycle is to get faster!

Plus the 5K for Heroes is a cause I can definitely get behind!

5k for heroes

Do you guys pick races for the charity they’re supporting?? I do sometimes but mainly I’m just looking for what works for my schedule!

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So after work on Friday night/Saturday morning, I drove on over to Papago park for a quick race. It was a pretty small crowd, which I never mind but when it’s small like this the course is never blocked off so we we’re running on the sidewalk for a bit and then through the park with a lot of other park-goers and cyclists and it got pretty crowded. I almost ran straight into this 2 year old who was on the left side of the sidewalk and right then his mother (who was oblivious!) decided it would be fun to “race” her kid who immediately ran to her cutting across to the right side of the sidewalk just as I was coming up behind. Pay attention to your surroundings, people.

But it has been fun getting out to new paths and seeing new places to train. Like this race was uphill for the first 1/4 mile or more so I definitely logged that course in my brain to come back again and train for all those bridges in the NYCM!

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Either way, it was a good race. It was a nice cool day, not too hot yet. Gotta get in as many races as I can in AZ while it’s still still bearable outside. I felt pretty good and didn’t have any stomach issues which is always plus. I went paddle boarding on Tuesday and ran hills on Wednesday and really taxed out my knees. I RICE’d as much as I could in the past few days and my legs felt fine for these 3 miles. I’m petrified of getting injured and really screwing up my training for New York! I’m going to be extra vigilant!!

splits

In the end, I was :46 seconds over my goal of finishing under 30 mins. Here’s how my splits shook out. Still no Speedy Gonzalez over here but I’m counting this as a negative split!

 

NYCM is 7 Months Away!

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Whoa that month went by quick! I knew when I got into the marathon that even though I had 8 months till the big day, time was going to fly by and I had no time to slack off.

But then I kind of slacked off… It’s been an interesting month full of ups and downs and I learned a lot about health and life.

In terms of vacation plans, I already spoke to my aunt and I’m all set to stay with them for the weekend. I have a hotel in the city for just a couple nights. I have my plane ticket and my ticket for an actual BROADWAY SHOW! Guys, I’m beyond excited! I picked Dear Evan Hansen (I tried to justify spending the $$ for Hamilton but… nope I couldn’t go it.)

Image result for dear evan hansen

I have all my workouts planned, now it’s just a matter of following through with them. And getting my eating back on track. I’ve been on vacation and even thought I stayed in town, I’ve had plenty of dinners out and really enjoying my time off. I always forget to take pictures but I did have a truly amazing dinner at Nobou at Teeter House in downtown Phoenix that was so indulgent and so worth it. But I did try and balance out my vacation with some outdoor activities and exercise.

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But I’m back in the swing of things at work and back at the comfort of a routine.

I have lots of goals! I’ve been running but it’s been a lot of easy runs and junk miles. I haven’t been pushing myself nearly enough and time if ticking away!

> I definitely want to work on my speed and get faster overall

> I want to get back into weights and strength training x2 a week

> I want to cross train x1 a week. Mostly yoga but cycling at least x1 a month

> I want to drop about 15 lbs before the marathon

7 months to go!!! I’m so so so excited for this race and I want to do it proud! 

Eat all Salads!

 

Yay Salads! I think salads get a bad rap as diet food when 1) they can be delicious and 2) they can be calorie/fat/carb laden and ultimately not that healthy!  But I eat a lot of salads. They’re really versatile and can be really filling and healthy if you stick to whole foods and oil based dressings. In fact, I ate a salad every day so far this week!

Now, I originally was thinking this would be a “no lettuce salad” post, but then I realized that I put lettuce under that mess in the top picture.  It also kind of became a “1 grocery bag 4 lunches” post since I used the same few ingredients over and over. But when you’re just 1 person and you don’t want your food to spoil, you gotta use it up the best you can!

Also I really am trying to cut down eating meat and not cut down my protein intake so I’ve been experimenting with new vegan/vegetarian meals. So these are all dairy free and it would be super easy to just leave the meat out and they’d be vegan!

So here’s what I ate! (remember how great I am at taking food pics??)

Top picture: lettuce topped with black beans, corn, quinoa, tomatoes, and red onion. I also made an avocado cilantro dressing (that blob in the middle) that turned over pretty dense, almost a guacamole, but it was really yummy and mixed up really well in the salad. (Which reminds me! I used this same stuff as a spread on my black bean burger for dinner tonight! Yum.)

Bottom left: garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) with just tomato, avocado, cucumber and cilantro.

Middle left: quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, and topped with green chile pork. (I wanted it to look so pretty like those quinoa bowls you see on pinterest, alas… the toppings got a bit jumbled. Still tasty though!)
Bottom right: the common denominator here: avocado, tomato, red onion, and cilantro. This time with shrimp.

It does share a lot of the same ingredients but I promise, these little switches make it feel like I’m not eating the same thing day after day. Cuz I am not that kind of person who can eat the same things all week. I sometimes wish I was! It would be easier, wouldn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I Ran the Zoo… or Through it

I ran the Zoo 5K on Saturday!

After I found out I got into the NYCM, I wanted to run a 5K and just kind of see where I’m starting at. I’m not a total beginner, but I’m pretty close. So I signed up for the first 5K I could, the Phx Zoo which sounded like a fun race so I signed up last week!

I worked another 12 hour shift Friday night, got off at 6 AM and ran over to QT to down an energy drink. The race was set to start at 8 AM but that’s my usual bedtime so I was tired. But it was a beautiful day, great weather and I just wanted to do a nice 3  mile tempo run.

zoo start

I did zero research about the course when I signed up for this thing! There were only a few hundred runners out this morning and a lot of people seemed like this was a) their first 5K b) they had no intention of running and it was more of a leisurely walk through the desert. I’m always happy to see runners and racers and wanted to support them but this course was narrow! It was only about 4 feet wide in a lot of places so when the gun went off we bottle necked through the start line and it was very slow going till we finally got a little more spaced out.

That’s where the nice tempo run I had planned turned into a HILL run. There were a TON of short but steep hills all throughout the course. I think I ran up 100 hills. I mean look at this beast:

hilks

With all these up and down spurts and general welcome back to activity, I started to get a side stitch so I just focused on my breath. Breathe in for 3 steps, breathe out of 2. Over and over and over. 1 2 3 4 5. It helped!

elev

Doesn’t even do it justice!
I was a tiny bit happy because I need to train hills since NYCM is notoriously uphill with all the bridges but that’s a whole different kind of hill. But it is nice to know I can come back to this path on some future non crowded day for another hill training run. When I’ll be more prepared.

zoo course

I still was hoping for a neg split but I forgot to turn my tracker off once I passed the finish line. So between that and the slow slow slow start, my numbers are definitely skewed.

splits

After the race, we all got free entry into the zoo. I really wanted to go but it was coming up on 9am and I had to work Saturday night. So instead I ran over to Genuine Fresche and grabbed a pitaya smoothie. It totally hit the spot!

 

 

pitaya

I Ran Into a TREE. Literally.

I went to the gym! It’s been too long since I’ve actually lifted a weight and it felt really good to get back at it.

I had unexpected errands to run before work yesterday that took the allotted time I had planned for a gym session but (miracle of all miracles) I got out of work 2 hours early so I ran over to the gym and did a quick kettlebell leg workout.

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notes

Gotta do what you gotta do, right?

ellip

Then I came home to this friggin cutie. His dog bed is literally 1 foot to the right of this. Spoiled little monster.

cops

Then this afternoon, I went on quite the eventful run. I work nights so ‘my mornings’ are really midday and I didn’t start out till 3pm. It was already 85 degrees and I was feeling it. It was hot! I have marathon training alllll through the summer and then  I’m going to fly to NYC in November; I’m quite worried about the temp change. I don’t know how I’m going to combat the heat and still get in 20 mile runs. I guess I’m gonna have to make fast friends with the treadmill.

So I start out already sweaty and pass a homeless man who told me I had good form! Ha hey thanks man. He even noticed that I didn’t “toe out.” What can I say? I try!

So I keep going and look down at  weird thing with my shoulder and BAM. I literally ran FACE FIRST into a tree.

tree ruins

Guys, I ran INTO A TREE. Day 3 of NYCM training and I run into a tree… it’s gonna be a long summer.

 

 

 

 

Getting That Love of Running Feeling Back

2011-marathon

When I applied for my first marathon back in 2011, the St. George Marathon, even though there is a lottery, all Washington county residents were guaranteed acceptance, so I didn’t have a thing to worry about. In 2015, now a Maricopa county resident, I put in for the lottery and won! When they had the drawing for 2016, I put in and won! (But unfortunately couldn’t do the race that year after all.) My mom can’t get over how lucky I am. But getting into the NYC Marathon? I cannot honestly believe I made it.

J'aime voyager à New York parce-que ma famille habite à New York. Il y a beaucoup de faire.:

This racing season has not been an easy one for me. Lots of sickness and an injury and all around self doubt. I’ve been bored on my long runs with no motivation to stick it out or work harder. I’ve been in a major slump that has been growing exponentially with every bad (or missed) race.

But now? I’m so excited and motivated to hit the pavement again! I want to do well in NYC and I’m more than willing to do all the work that it takes to cross the NYCM finish line strong and proud.

Lift off.:

It’s such a great feeling to regain that love of running. To have a goal that I’m excited and have that fire in my butt again. I don’t want to lose focus this marathon training cycle so I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep this fire burning. There are a lot of places I can go so I’m not running the same old path every long run. I’m making a list now of all the trails in the valley- especially ones with hills since NYCM is a notoriously hilly/hard course. New music/books/podcasts saved special for runs. Sprints and fartlek and interval training runs. And maybe even through in some rewards for hard runs 🙂

There’s so much to do! Not only in regular old marathon training but in vacation planning and logistics of it all. There’s plenty of time to figure everything out but I cannot wait to get out there!!!