Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hello again!

Wow. I can't believe it's been over a year since I have posted anything on this site... so sorry!

An update:
-I am no longer in school, or an undergrad! Yay! I am an a-dult now :(
-Injury free for about 8 months now! Yes!
-Back to running on a daily basis
-I recently ran Chicago!!!!

I have been hesitant in regards to updating this blog, but might as well! I like to keep track of alot of things and look back on training as well as accomplishments. I'd like to think I have accomplished alot during these past months. For one, I am still learning to be patient with recovery. I got myself into a lot of trouble in 2013 due to that, as well as being stubborn (woops).

It's good to wind down and think about the little things in life. Be grateful to be able to run, walk, move! It has been a very humbling experience to be able to start all over. I had to "learn" how to run again. I had to be patient with my legs and not rush the moment. Every planned work out was not going to turn out the way I wanted, or the pace I wanted. I took things a little too fast when I first got the green flag to start the walk-to-run program. WOMP WOMP. and re-injured myself. Talk about making the same mistake twice.

From that mistake in early 2014, I told myself, not again. I ran without a watch, without music. I listened to every message my body was going to tell me. Every week I would assess how I was doing and before I knew it, June came along. I had been running 10-15 miles weekly for the past 3 and a half months, I knew I was going to be ready for the Chicago Marathon by October.

then BAM! JV got injured.

Fast forward to 9 weeks before the marathon, we're slowly building up our mileage again. I was a-okay. He decided not to race and together we decided to run the marathon for fun. With 8 weeks of training, we toed the start line with hopes to finish in one piece (and all toenails intact) -- of course more on that later!

The goal for now:

Reflect on this past training cycle and share what it was like to run a marathon with so little training.

Reflect on 12 months stuck in an injury cycle.

Smile and be thankful that I am past all that :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tower Triathlon Recap

My goals for this race were pretty simple. I was hoping to finish my swim under 11 mins, the bike under 45 and the run under 25. Based on my "training" for this race, my goals were realistic and my overall goal time was anywhere under 1:25 haha.. so yeah, I mainly just wanted to see what my base was.

My triathlon training consisted of:

Swim: 2 or 3 times a week. Average time was ~15mins and I would usually just swim 400-500yds freestyle.

Bike: Commute ~15mi (roundtrip) 4 or 5 times a week to work. I was able to do 2 time trials before the tri.. an 11mile workout steady pace.. and a 20miler a weekend before.

Run: whenever I found time... lol usually 1 or 2 times a week.

What I didn't practice at all... was transition. Womp womp.. I was freaking out the day before the race, youtubing techniques that would get me in and out of transition the quickest.. and it worked for the most part.

Race Morning
I arrived bright and early and set up my transition area an hour before the race started. It felt so cool seeing my bike ready to go.

I stood there for a little bit... trying to visualize my plan once my bike and things were set up. I walked from the pool.. to transition.. and around to make sure I would know where my bike was. I also tried to walk from transition to the bike course.. I was barefoot so I didn't make it too far out. Even then I noticed the course was not well-marked. At least, not well enough for me. Oops. I had looked at the map.. but it was just hard visualizing it in my head when my nerves were through the roof.


I was in wave 8 out of 11(?) so I had a while to start.. I went and got marked up and waited with JV on the side of the pool watching the first waves go off. My heart was pounding... swimming competitively wasn't my favorite thing to do. I remember nervous I would get whenever they timed me in high school for my lifeguarding course... ahh. I swam enough to know I could do it. It was my waves turn. I jumped in the pool and had my timer/counter with me. I was so use to swimming with this thing, that I had to bring it with me today. The horn went off and I sprinted off the wall. By the 8th length I was starting to get tired... my breathing was off. I took a 2 second break. 8 more lengths and youre out of the pool Luz...

I heard JV screaming out my name to go. I kept swimming.. even if I had to breathe after every stroke.. I told myself to use my arms. It would be over any minute now. I quickly climbed out of the pool only to realize I was the 2nd out. YES! I looked at my timer. I had finished my swim in 9:36! but I still had to run to transition.. and I was already out of breathe.

Swim- 10:30

I ran to the transition area.. and counted the bike racks.. somehow I ran past my bike rack haha and turned around only to find my bike behind me. Oops. I quickly put my helmet on.. socks and shoes. I had taped my sunglasses and Shot Bloks to my bike. hehe. So those were already with me when I rolled out of transition. I grabbed my gloves and off I went.

T1- 1:55

As soon as I jumped on my bike, I relaxed.. the hardest part (or what I thought would be the hardest) was over. I have grown attached to my bike every since my marathon in March. Since I haven't been able to run as much as I would like... my bike is the only option in terms of cardio that I prefer.
The bike route was a little over 2 miles with 5 loops around the same route. I pedaled at a comfortable pace for the first one.. asked for directions after passing the first timing mat haha and then got a hang of it. I pedaled faster for the rest of the course. My legs didn't burn as much as I thought they would... then again I wasn't going too fast. I still had a 5k to run after this. I looked at my watch when I knew I had half a mile to go.. and to my surprise I was way ahead of my goal. Hell yes!

Bike: 18k, 36:44 (avg speed 18.3mph)

This was an easy transition... just had to take off my helmet and rack my bike. Done and done!

T2: 0:43seconds


I started my Garmin as soon as I passed the timing mats. I saw JV in his running clothes as I was coming out of transition! AH! He surprised me. I had no idea he was going to be running with me. I told him I was thirsty.. the sun was def burning me up. When we got to the first water station I knew I wasn't going to be able to run a sub-8min 5k.. and I was okay with that. I had not prepare for this part.. I probably only squeezed in a few runs after a bike commute.. and I noted it, next time, I will need more preparation for this. My legs felt like LEAD. At the turn around, I was ready to finish this strong. I kicked it up a little... and kept reminding myself that this was my first tri.. and to take it easy. There's going to be many more in the future :)

Run - 25:36 (avg pace: 8:14)

Overall Time: 1:15:25, Placed 2nd in 18-24 AG


After the race... I was not only surprised of how good I felt, despite my lack of preparation, but I also felt hopeful. If anyone is thinking of doing a sprint tri, I highly recommend it. I had so much fun and it felt different than just running a race. I am looking up upcoming triathlons in the area. I'll def be better prepared next time.


Next Up: Allstate 13.1!

Friday, May 17, 2013

April Miles bring May SMILES!

I wanted to find a word to rhyme with "miles" but I failed miserably. haha.
co-worker actually yelled Smiles just as I posted this entry. ha!
Sorry... that was irrelevant.


I'm like 2 weeks late but who cares! I have gotten really bad at logging my bike/swims .. especially on DM. It's gotten real messy.

Total Bike (Commute & Non-commute): ~215.2 miles
Total Swim: ~4,250yds
Total Run: 32miles (!)
Total p90x Sessions: 17

Pre-Bike Mini-Accident, I can run again! I have been trying to run 2 times a week and I think I'm ready to increase it to 3 times :) so happy.. then the mini-accident happened yesterday and I will not run till the tri. I am just gonna let it heal/rest.

I've been able to stick to the p90x program! I got through April.. and I'm currently finishing week 6. I def feel the difference. I was able to do a couple pull-ups. I have always struggled to do ANY. And I went and bought myself a pull-up bar. 6 weeks into the program, and I am able to do an unassisted pull up (or 2.. or 3 I cant count). I have to jump and grab on since I'm kinda short, but I did it! *happy dance

I'm getting use to swimming, but I lack technique.. so I am no pro just yet haha. But seriously, I need a coach or something to tell me what I am doing wrong or what to adjust. I know my freestyle looks like I'm fighting the water.

Bike Commute: I LOVE MY MORNING COMMUTES ON MY BIKE!!! I cannot and will never take the CTA ever again. My home-to-work PR is currently ~34 minutes.. it would usually take me 45+ on the CTA. But now I have to deal with pissy drivers.. whatevs. You need to wake up an extra 5 min earlier lady, not my fault the road is under construction... more on pissy drivers later.
On a serious note, please be aware of any bikers on the street. I try to be as courteous and BRIGHT as possible so everyone sees me. But people are just in a rush all the time...

Now that I bike to work/school.. I've seen the weirdest of things.. so I think I'm going to start a "What I saw on my Commute" thing. haha.

Weirdest/Silly/Random things so far

  • Dude riding with one arm on handle and the other drinking coffee (dude, how do you do that?!)
  • Mom seriously multi-tasking (she was walking her dog on the street..on her bike... while her little boy biked on the sidewalk to school)
  • Dad & Mom biking... while the mom had her little daughter on one of these.. cutest thing!

  •  Guy with rear-view mirrors on his bike
  • Girls with sundresses... uhm. I wonder how they do that. and can you teach me 
  • a banana peel on the street. Just like in Mario Kart haha

I was so distracted and dazing off yesterday, that I almost busted my front tire (WE NEED MORE BIKE LANES Mr. Rahm Emanuel!)

I was in high spirits and on my way home.. going a tad bit fast. I was approaching a bridge.. and didn't want to bike over the weird metal square things on the bridge. So, I biked onto the sidewalk. I was going too fast to notice I was approaching one of these

 instead of this...

 I tried braking but my back wheel skidded instead of stopping (from the cracked pavement and rocks)... that I ended up on the ground. Ouch.

I'm so glad I always wear my helmet and I'm also glad my gloves arrived a few days ago in the mail. Or else my hands would look like my arm and knees. haha. I only scraped my knees, elbow and my shoulder a tad bit. Oh and a bruise... but all else is well!

Today I am scheduled to swim a few laps... but idk. IT BURRRNNNSSSSSS.

I hope this little accident of mine doesn't interfere with the tri in 2 days.... It left me with a huge bruise on my knee... and the knee isn't feeling so good. damnit.

This year I turned into accident/injury prone person... let's see how this goes.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

SportCount Counter (for swimmers) Review!

I've incorporated swimming during the week while my knee gets better as well as biking. Something that would really bug me was losing count of the laps I was swimming.. I have the memory of a goldfish lol so I tried timing myself with my iPhone (leaving it wrapped in my towel) jumping out of the pool and typing in the laps.. this only worked for so long. And I didn't want to keep taking my phone to the pool. I searched and searched and found this little itty-bitty mini-garmin haha for swimming. I don't regret the $30.

-It counts my laps every time I clicked it with my thumb
-It's small enough to put on your finger and forget it's there
-It keeps track of your overall time, Fastest/Slowest lap
-Spits out your average lap time too
-for $30, it does it's job well

Like I said, a mini-garmin haha :-)

So if you like to swim.. and are like me and my horrible memory.. I really recommend this little device. I can't swim without it now lol

I'm Alive!

Finals are OVER. and I was so into studying and all that shenanigans that I aced all my finals. My goal for this semester was to try getting all A's and I did it! I was def slacking last year.. Oops. Take that Junior year!

I won't be on summer vacation for long.. :(
I'm taking some extra courses over the summer and still working part-time. I'm also starting to look into potential grad schools.. dun dun dun.

Has anyone taken the GRE? I have no idea how that works.. but I guess it's time to take it soon... ??

Ay ay ay..

I will def do an April recap before my first sprint tri this weekend. I'm super excited. I've been somewhat training for it while trying to balance school work these past few weeks, so we'll see how I do. Other than that, HELLO SUMMER!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nike Women's Half - DC

After a loooooong weekend, I can finally sit and type this out.
my name on a wall!

For starters, I had high expectations for what Nike would do since the registration price for this race was about $170.. holy moly. But thankfully mine was paid for by UIC. I expected really good gear, expo freebies, you name it.

scale of 1-10... like a 7.
It wasn't crappy, but I love Chicago Half, Rock N Roll expos since they have a bunch of vendors and they host the expo in a big place. It was crowded at the Nike expo. Good stuff but it was a small place to have it. The only freebies that were offered were Nike bracelets if you showed them your Nike+ app on your phone, Luna bar bites.. 10 min Paul Mitchell something (not sure if it was like a makeover or what.. didn't bother to look, oops), Nuun samples.. and the packet pick up. In order to buy race gear, you would have to walk about half a mile away from the expo, to the Nike store and purchase it there. They had only limited stuff available.. and said there would be more finishers gear at the end of the race. I found this a little inconvenient. I know they did this to not only make more profit but also to keep us surprised. What if I had a flight right after the race and couldn't afford to finish the race and wait in line to just SEE what other finishers gear they offered. and yes, there was a very very long line after the race, JUST to get into the Finishers Boutique.

Getting to the race was a piece of cake, we only had to take one train and walk less than 2 blocks. Their gear check was super fast with no lines and everything seemed very well organized. My expectations for my time were very low, since I was still coming back from minor injuries. This was def a tough race to finish.. because of course my knee and foot problem resurfaced and all I could think about was getting to the finish line and icing my damn knee. But anyway, the course was awesome. It was awesome running towards the Capitol.. the only monument I actually saw/recognized haha.. maybe I was too zoned out and in pain to notice the others. I was actually REALLY thirsty the entire time. I felt really bloated with water, but I couldn't satisfy my thirst. Maybe because I'm not use to running anymore.. (more than 3+mi since February).. or running in 60 degree weather, it sucked. During the race they had Nuun, water and FREE SHOTBLOKS! awesome, because I had devoured mine haha. yummy.

Noticing my split times, I was all over the place.. starting out too fast, slowing down too much.. walk breaks all the time. I don't regret the walk breaks tho. My knee hurts today but not as bad as after the marathon. I was able to limp/run/cry through the finishing chute at 1:53. Not my slowest time, so I'm not complaining. I really got emotional as I neared the finish line... Nike decided it was very convenient/inspirational to put runner "reasons" why you run. Right around the time I was running past them and reading for "Me", "My Family", "To feel empowered", "To Prove Them Wrong" I got a text from JV back home... telling me to keep pushing. I couldn't hold it in and just lost it. I was in tears. Coming back from injuries can do that to you. They have made me somewhat weak, but they have also made me stronger. I took a small walking break to take deep breaths. Thank God I was wearing sunglasses, because I probably looked like a hot mess. I was able to finish and recieve my really cute Tiffany necklace and awesome finishers T-shirt.

They had the usual snacks, bagels, fruit cups, water, Luna bars, bananas. Still have to figure out why my stomach has issues with eating after a race.. usually I feel super bloated and just uncomfortable. but anyways. This was def worth $170 (necklace, awesome course, t-shirt..) if you're into cute jewelry and a trip to the Capitol.

Before and after the race I accidentally ran into the great Joan Benoit and Shalane Flanagan. I was too shy to ask for a picture.. lol oops. So I just took one from afar. I'm not sure if they get annoyed, but all I needed after crossing the line was some water and an ice bag haha.

Added Bonus

VIP Concert: So.. a week or so before the race I received an invitation to the Ellie Goulding concert sponsored by Nike!! .. if you haven't heard of her she runs. and she also sings.. and is sponsored by Nike. I happen to like her music. So when I got this email I screamed!! Ahh FREE concert! the night before the race. Man oh man.. I got lucky. Only some runners got invited.. and I still don't know why or how they chose them but I'm so glad I got to attend.. free snacks and beverages were served. YEEE! This def helped us get pumped for the race. I wonder if they will do this with other famous artist and or people?

This was also the first time I got to come to DC.. and I got a chance to tour around DC the day before the race. The only thing that kind of caught me off guard was how expensive it is to take public transportation.. uhm.. should've rented a bike lol

Overall, this was an awesome race. Would def do it again.. if UIC were to pay for it again lol
I had no time goal.. except to try to squeeze in under 2 hours.. and keep my pain relatively tolerable, by taking walking breaks. I got to run in a new place.. and really enjoy the ability to run (..uhm.. limp?) I am enjoying this time off from racing.. I feel like I was given this time to reflect. I have not lost speed.. but I am def 100x (more) sore than I usually am after a half marathon. Maybe because I was only averaging about 5-8miles a week, in the weeks leading up to the race.. or because I haven't been running more than 3miles at a time.. but def worth the pain for the awesome experience.

I am opting out of the Cinco de Miler next weekend.

Next Race: YMCA Leaning Tower Sprint Tri

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nike Women's Half Marathon: Goals

The DC Nike Women's Half is this weekend.. AHHH!!!!!

Am I ready? hahahahaha.  no.

Will I wimp out? Nope.

As it turns out.. I'm not ready to race quite yet. I've been able to get some really really short runs in during the week. I registered for the Leaning Tower YMCA Sprint Tri along with Christina! So this was able to take my mind of running and focus my energy on my swimming technique and biking. My knees took a beating after the marathon, so this left me with no choice. I'm gonna run the half ... but not race it. I will try the walk/run method.. depending on how I feel.

I am expecting no miracle. Because really, I just want to finish. It will be like last June all over again. Lining up at my first half... about to face the unknown. I really really want to finish. I WILL walk to the finish line if that's what it takes. Plus, they have a really cute Tiffany necklace waiting at the finish line ;)

This will be a girl's getaway trip right before finals, so all I want is to enjoy and take a tour around DC.

Expected Finish Time? uhm... I don't know. Maybe I'll get lucky and score a sub 2? :-)

I have to admit, I am a little sad that this will break my Half-PRing-Streak. But God does things for a reason.. I have to learn the hard way... I will not always PR. I will not always RACE. I will not always have a good time.. but I will try :)

Gosh... I miss my speedier/workable legs..

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easing back in...

6 weeks off from running was both hell and heaven. I started doing things I should've been doing while training for the marathon
-I swim more! and by more.. I mean more than once a week haha
-With the weather being nicer now, I started commuting on my bike to school/work
-I foam roll more often :-)
-I am upping my protein intake! I am horrible at eating anything protein-wise... why can't cereal have like 15g a protein.. I can eat a box a day. I'm not kidding.

Week of March 18-22: Full Recovery week

Mon-Friday: Rest
Saturday: 3.5mi bike ride, 300yd short swim & Stretching

Total Running: 0
Bike: 3.5mi
Swim: 300yds
Strength: 0

Week of March 25-29: Re-adjusting
Mon: Swim 500
Tues: Swim 800
Weds: Run 0.5mi Bike 4.45mi
Thurs: Swim 1000
Fri: Rest
Sat: Bike 8mi
Sun: Rest

Running: 0.5mi
Swim: 2300yds
Bike: 12.45
Strength: 0

This will be week 7 since I haven't had a decent run. For now, I'm not complaining about anything.. instead I'm liking my new "training/recovery"schedule I've been working on, which will mostly involved swimming, biking, strength and stretching.. sounds more of a tri training plan huh? ;-)
At the end of the month is the Nike Womens half in DC.. and I'm actually not stressing over it. As of now, it's chill mode.. haha.

Nutrition: Since the marathon, I've been tracking what I've been eating in order to make sure I get in all my nutrients hehe. And I cannot manage to eat enough protein. :( but I have noticed I bounced back to my pre-marathon (more like pre-injury) weight! HURRAY! not that it matters too much.. atleast I am not feeling pressured to jump into running yet. I feel goooood, with or without running, as long as I'm doing SOMETHING.

April will be a good month :-)

(...and if it's not, oh well.. I'm 20 yrs old.. I'm too young to be stressing over the little things in life haha)


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Race Recap: LA Marathon

Ok.. let's see. I think we waited too long to type this recap out. But here goes...

Arriving in LA!
JV - All we really talked about on the plane was about the things we were planning to do and visit (and eat). I was constantly yelping restaurants, since I love food and trying out new places. When we landed the weather was nice.

Luz - Palm trees everywhere!  We decided to head straight to the expo (so glad we did!) After dropping off our things, we jumped on bus and arrived at the LA Convention Center for packet pick up. Little did I know I was going to be meeting the person I look up to the most..  Deena Kastor.

Out of nowhere I asked Luz, "Why is there a long line here?". She looked at me and said "Its Deena Kastor!!". She was all happy that I was able to spot Deena for her . We quickly got in line, but unfortunately she had to leave. However, we saw that people were following her to the stage where she was going to be speaking. We ran to the stage and got front row seats. Deena was nice enough to sign our bibs and was able to motivate me and Luz for the marathon.

She was talking about injuries. At the moment, I was bummed out at what led to my injury... not paying enough attention to the signs early on. After she was done talking, it sunk in. I can let this injury sabotage my mood (and this trip) or I can overcome it. I was going to be doing something stupid on Sunday.. really really stupid. I was going to be running the marathon. I promised myself as long as I finished.. no matter the time.. There was a chance I could make things worse.. but I was willing to take that chance. I wasn't going to beat myself up. I was going to be 100% happy that atleast I got to experience part of something amazing. And I don't regret it. A week and a day later.. I can't wait to get back to running, but with time.

Our goodie bag included our marathon t-shirt (awesome looking!), a pack of Shot Bloks, those pop chip things, tons of flyers, and sunscreen. NICE!

 I'm so glad we went to the expo right after we arrived.  Deena inspired both of us to do our best.  We were ready to take on that marathon! >:)
After the expo, we were starving.  Luz quickly spotted a random Chinese food place and I'm so glad we went to it.  Best shrimp fried rice ever lol :) ! I wish we would of brought some home :(

Day 1
Santa Monica Beach
After yelping places, I thought it would be a great idea to go to Santa Monica Pier. As we were walking to the pier we somehow ended up going to an outdoor mall where they had so many stores. We ended up walking around and doing a bit of shopping. After the shopping, we actually went to the pier and took a few pictures. It was really nice seeing the ocean again. I think it was Luz's first time seeing the ocean up close. OH RIGHT!! I forgot about that..

We walked all day long! Bummer it was a little windy and cloudy, not a bummer since we wouldn't be dying on Sunday. While shopping, I was snacking on cinnamon pretzels (mmm.. carbs right? ;) lol) While also keeping track of upping my water throughout the day.

We had our dinner early-ish (TACOS!) and stopped at a convenience store for last minute things ( vaseline, pretzels and hair pins) JV mentioned Yum Yum donuts and I couldn't resist buying myself a donut (carbs!) haha. That night, we ended up going to try Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles. We played it safe and just split the waffle and chicken piece lol (it was past 10pm).

I tried staying up, tried to put together a playlist into my ipod.. but I was tired of walking all day and slept like a baby. We left our stuff ready in our marathon bags, ready to be put on in the morning.

Day 2
Wearing my marathon shirt before the actual marathon haha.. 

Race Morning
Was I nervous? Erm... yes and no. Not the type of nervous when you're going for a PR and you are trying to think up several scenarios when things can go wrong and ruin your chances. It was different kind of nervousness... like going into the unknown. I had no idea what was going to be happening today.

We left for the race with more than enough time. 5am wake up call, but 5:30 we were in the car. We arrive with more than an hour to spare! So we walked around.. took pictures in Dodger Stadium, lined up for the Port-o-potties.. and headed to the start line...

Seeing all the runners and everybody lining up got me pumped.  I was even more excited because I was going to do the marathon with Luz. I was determined to make sure that I was there to cheer her on for support.  We lined up and we were ready to go!

Day 3, Race Day

Mile 1-4
Ok, the nervousness kicked in. Right when JV decided we should line up with the 3:45 pacer. Heh. I'm def not going to stay here very long buddy... He was running with me today, we had no plan, just finish this thing.
First mile, I stayed relatively conservative and told him I wanted the first two miles around 8:40 and depending how I felt, we would speed up (he was my personal pacer afterall).  After passing the 3rd mile marker I realized... I had not ran more then 3 miles in a very long time. This brought on fear, what the heck was I going to do at mile 10? 15? 25?! I shoved those thoughts away and turned off my ipod. This was not going to work. I had to relax. So I let my mind wander off from any expectations today. If I hurted, I would walk.
Mile 4 was a bitch. Why? The incline wasn't too bad on the hill... but it stretch out for about half a mile up. This course was not what I expected. Rolling hills during every mile. I remember looking at the elevation map, the end was the best part.

I felt comfortable so far.  We were doing even splits and I liked the course.  Even though , there a lot of hills. 

Mile 4-20
Yes I am skipping all the stuff in the middle. I don't want to bore you lol But nothing really happened. Besides.. slowing down a little after the hill. Gaining a little speed, then my foot reminded me I was still injured. We walked through some water stations, and we mostly took water from the first 15 miles and food from every station which really helped. I never felt thirsty or hungry.

Some of the highlights:
  • I started drinking water and first Shot Blok at mile 2. Then I would take another Shot Blok every other mile (when I would remember) and sip some water at every aid station... and conveniently, there was aid stations at every mile. 
  • It was horrible trying to find a port-a-pottie. The ones JV tried were locked.. (see picture above.. lol poor JV) and probably spotted the next one within a 2-3miles.. 
  • Food that I ate along the course after I ran out of Shot Bloks:
    oranges, bananas, cheez-its, pretzels, half a Mocha Gu.. yuck
  • other stuff they were giving out, but i didn't want: gummy bears, chilli dogs(?!)
  • random people giving out Oreos, I love you!
  • We were actually on pace for a 3:5x up until about mile 15... :(
  • As we neared mile 20.. all I could think about was the "Wall"
  • I'm not sure what was worse.. up hills or downhills.. they both hurt by now (but during downhills, my foot hurt less)
  • My flipbelt was super comfy! This was the first time wearing it and I had stuffed 2 phones, 2 shot bloks, tiny vaseline (worked wonders! no chafing!) and cash/creditcard. Nothing fell out. Nothing was bouncing around and you can't even see it in our pictures!
  • My shoes (Saucony Virratas) never hurt my feet one bit.. except the little blister I got. For first time use, I got lucky. Very Lucky. They shall now be my lucky shoes :-)
  • I had no idea what part of California we were.. except when we hit Hollywood, obviously because of the stars on the sidewalks lol (funny video I found of on youtube! haha didn't even see this guy on the course, and kinda glad I didnt)
  • Mile 13 came out of no where..I was surprised at how fast time was going by. The miles that dragged the most were probably 17-23.. 
Probably because that's when we were going the slowest hah!
See Below
Mile 13 was bathroom break.. or more like
Where's "a Port-a-pottie for JV"? haha

  • When we hit mile 20.. I thought back on how horrible and how long it took us to finish our 20 mile training run, this felt ALOT better.. maybe because of the excitement/food/water being handed to us. I LOVE MARATHONS! 
  • I was having fun the whole way! People's encouragement really pumped me up I still felt good.  
We were running at a good pace and everything.  The crowd was awesome! They did an amazing job at cheering on all the runners.   People were giving out so many goodies and snacks along the course.  The only thing that was bothering me was that I couldn't find a port-a-pottie lol .  I felt bad because I didn't want to ruin our momentum.  Luckily, I was able to find one after 3 miles and resume running.  :)
    Mile 20-26
    •  I was still waiting to hit the Wall... nothing yet. 
    • Mile 22.. things kinda took a turn for the worse.. every stride my foot would hurt alot. I walked every 5 minutes or so. Then the 4:30 group caught up to us. We tried following.
    • Mile 23 I didn't want to walk anymore. So I told JV, from here on out, we were running to the end, even if my foot hurt like a bitch, I wanted to pass the 4:30 group. And we did. Our last 3 miles were all negative splits. Which surprised me... I had been holding back throughout the race because of my foot.. and in an attempt to conserve my energy.
    It was around this time were my legs were getting tight and slowed down a bit, but Luz always managed to cheer me on to keep on pushing.   It was during this time for some reason I got really hungry.  This has never happened to me during a race and its something completely new to me.  Luckily,  I was able to get snacks from people along the course and i started eating.  I just kept getting snacks as I kept passing aid stations. :)  The last 3 miles seemed like the hardest.  We both said that no more breaks until the end.  I got pumped from the crowd's cheering and by thinking that in a few minutes we will be at the finish line. 

    •  As we neared the finish line, all I could think of how much I wanted to do it all over again. 

    Some of my favorite pictures Marathonfoto took...

    Bottom left, crossing the finish line
    The Question now is... should I splurge and buy all the pictures?! haha

    See you in 2014 LA.. def going back.

    ...Did I miss anything? It's hard to remember after a week and a half haha

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    LA, The Marathon that almost didn't happen

    I'll share with you guys a little bit of what I thought was the most amazing weekend of my life.
    Full recap later.

    Short Version:

    I finished. Or shall I say, WE finished. JV decided to run the marathon with me.. all 26.2 miles. What I thought would be a disaster (trying to stay together.. feeling bad I would slow him down... my foot leading to a DNF.. which would mean he would either continue or drop out too) turned out to be the best time I had.

    Some highlights:

    • L.A is an amazing city! I love it there and was sad to leave. But for sure, L.A Marathon 2014 is in the books
    • WE MET DEENA KASTOR!!!!!!!!! AND SHE SIGNED OUR BIBS! (i think she was like my good luck charm, sorry JV lol)
    yep, me and Deena were matching :-)
    • People will hate me after I say this.. but... it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I imagined I would be dying at the end. I mean I was.. but I guess I was just so happy to be there at the moment. I took my time.. I listened to my body (sorta)... hydrated as well as I could and never got thirsty.. never cramped.. didn't need to stop for bathroom.. no stomach issues.. never hit the wall... ate along the course to provide my body with sustained energy.. most importantly I smiled the whole way!
    • I wore new gear, Oops
      Although I wasn't suppose to wear anything new the day of the race... I tend to go against the rules. If you havent read many of my recaps last year, I tend to do it ALOT. and well.. it works (most of the time). This time I wore new shoes. Yep. NEW. The most I ran on them was 1.3miles a few days leading up to the race and I got lucky. Too lucky. My knees didn't hurt as much, small blister and that is all. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. Don't do any of what I did today, because honestly, it was a reckless miracle I finished. (I also ate a bunch of new things.. and thank god, everything worked.) I tried out the Flipbelt, new Brooks shorts, new headband (which worked! usually they end up falling off on me) but more on that later...
    • I ran injured. and I still finished at a time of 4:29 and pace of 10:17min/mile. Not the best time in the world, but I'm so proud of it. I'm 90% sure that this is a PR'able(?) time.
      10% not sure.. because.. well shit happens. :-)
    • I now have a bruise on my tendon.. where the pain began a month ago.. oops. Needs to go to doc asap again. And I have a feeling it aint gonna be good news, but I'm ready for some more rest :-)
      my hamstrings hurt like a bitch everytime i walk..
    • The course was better than I imagined... and harder than I imagined. I lost count of how many hills and downhills there were.. mile 4, I'm out to get you next time. 
    • I RAN WITH NO MUSIC! and I loved it!!!!!!!!! (a first in my books, when it hurts i plug my earphones in, today there was no such thing)
    What did I learn?
    Well more like re-learn every time I race... EVERYTHING is possible.
    If i can run a damn marathon injured.. after being out for almost a month and enjoy every mile, and even shout out "MILE 13 ALREADY?!" then I can damn well finish another...

    This marathon wasn't going to get the best of me. I am so glad it's over, because I still don't know how far I can go.

    Couple of snapshots, more to come later.

    L.A. Marathon 2013, completed.