Monday, January 28, 2013

Marathon Training Week 10 + 11

I'm starting to panic.. just a little.

Week 12 begins today. With a well deserved rest day. I will do absolutely nothing (I'm doing my body a favor and letting it recover) .

NO Crosstraining
NO treadmill
NO abs
(just a slow mile bike commute to class)

Even if the weather is tempting me... (NOW it decides to warm up.. sheesh)

I am feeling sore this morning, and this week is "step-back" week! Yes! I love it.. because it couldn't have come in a better time. I need to rest and catch up on school work haha.

Week 10
Monday: Cross-training 10.5mi on the bike, short swim, and p90x Shoulders+Arms
Tuesday: 4 slow miles + abs
Wednesday: 8mi
Thursday: Intervals! 1mile warm-up, 6x400s at 5k pace. p90x Arms + Abs
Friday: switch my Saturday run (8miles) to today. Need to rest before Sunday's 5k/Long Run
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Midwinter Cruise 5k (22:57) + 14miles @ 8:42pace = 17.1miles

Total Running Miles: 41
Total Bike Miles: 10.5
How I felt: Good, for the most part. A little sluggish during the week, but made up for it Thursday and Sunday with some speed.

Week 11

Monday: Rest Day (biked ~4mi to school)
Tuesday: 5 miles in the COLD 0 degress but feels like -16 degree weather.+ p90x arms & abs
Wednesday: Felt sluggish, so I opted for 5 No Garmin miles instead of 8.
Thursday: I felt better, so I did 4 miles outside, but the snow slowed me down. Treadmill Intervals 6 miles (Total 10miles) + 'Flex' Drop-in Fitness Class
Friday: Rest
Saturday: f^3 Lake Half Marathon (PR!) + 5 mi = 18miles
Sunday: Slow 7 miler

Total Running Miles: 45
Total Bike Miles: ~9
How I felt: Sore from the half, and the extra 12 miles after the race but overall, I feel good. I'm at the point in the marathon plan where my weekly mileage peaks. (I even added a mile or two this week and last just because I felt comfortable) And so far, my legs have been holding up pretty well. I'm trying to fit in cross training and strength workouts.. and sometimes I forget to log them. Oops. But I've been sticking to it! I've also started biking from one campus to the other (~1mi) everyday instead of the bus, does that count as cross-training? lol

According to dailymile... the f^3 Half was intense haha (my heart rate)

Week 12, prepare to be demolished!
I'm going to take it relatively easy this week. and maybe even try out the cycling class I've been curious about. Don't want to get injured, burn out or lose motivation. I'm really excited for the weeks to come

Sunday, January 27, 2013

F^3 Half Marathon Race Recap

(This might be long... ) haha

24 hours later, I am still in disbelief at what happened yesterday. Mainly because I did not anticipate the outcome (spoiler: an amazing PR). 

My morning was the opposite.. like always, I'm doing everything last minute. I was running late, the CTA bus I needed to take to the train station was delayed by 20 mins.. I was better off walking to the station. I realized too late I had forgotten my ipod at home :( but I had brought everything else in my bag (even a banana for my pre-race snack). I wasn't worried, I guess I would have to run with my iPhone.

I was meeting up with Marisa from the UIC Run Club and hitch a ride from the loop to the start line. Once we arrived I looked for Christina (this was going to be her first half!) And we were warming up in the warming tents. I was so glad they had these. I was shaking the entire time, I don't know if it was because I was nervous or really really cold. Christina was able to calm me down a little by telling me I had nothing to worry about. (Which I really didn't, but idk what i was thinking). I had worn 2 pairs of tights, a tank, my Nike zip-up, Saucony jacket, gloves, and a hat. I knew I would warm up once we started running. I also took my first Shot Blok while waiting.

My goal for the race was to run a sub 1:45... I was skeptical. My calves were sore from my 10-miler & fitness drop-in class on Thursday. I had rolled and wore my compression sleeves to sleep in the night before so I was hoping it would help. 

"The cold is good for speed". 

Part of me believed it, I love running in the cold because I can't feel my legs most of the time. All I had to do was trust my legs, believe that I could do it and go through with it.

Me and Marisa lined up right behind the 1:45 corral. Got ready, and prayed for a good race.
Finish Time
Mile 1-3
The first mile and a half was congested (not a surprise) I weaved around alot. Then we got off the paved path and onto mud/snow unpaved (?) road. Are you fucking kidding me.  

Mile 1 (7:58)
I didn't want to sprain anything/fall on my ass/use too much energy so I played it safe. they had warned us about this and I know they tried to keep it at a minimum, since it had snowed the days leading up to the race so I wasn't too pissed. I noticed the 2 mile marker on the side. What the? So I manually lapped this mile.
 Mile 2 (8:08)

The next mile was a little off, I couldn't trust the mile markers and relied on my watch.
 Mile 3 (7:46)

Mile 4-8
I don't remember much from these miles. I just kept looking at my lap pace, and tried my best to keep it consistent. For the most part, I did. I felt great. I wasn't hot and I wasn't cold. Took Shot Blok #2 Mile 4 (7:51)
Mile 5 (7:48)

I had my phone, so I took a picture during the race just for the hell of it.  
Mile 6 (7:56) 

I started to see runners coming back! Pit-stop: Gatorade and another Shot Blok 

Mile 7 (7:56)

I see it! I see it! I switched my garmin over to see my overall pace so far, I was surprised. 7:53 and I had finished my 8 miles in 1:02.
Mile 8 (7:47)

Mile 9-13
I knew I was going to get tired soon. I kept thinking, just one more sub 8 mile.
Mile 9 (7:56)

Mile 10 is usually around the time I start getting a little tired. Come on... one more sub-8 mile. I thought about the marathon, and those last 6.2 miles that are going to kill me. I needed to be prepared for that day.  
Mile 10 (7:59)

10 down, 3.1 to go.. I was starting to feel my calves cramp up a little
Mile 11 (8:03)

I was careful at this point, 2.1 miles.. I had to conserve atleast one more before going all out. My calves were tight and as I ran, I tried adjusting my stride so that I was able to stretch out my calves a bit. At the 11.5 mark, there was an aid station, the last one. I walked, touched my toes and stretched out my hamstrings in less than 10 seconds and gulped down some gatorade. After mile 12 is where I need to give it my all.  
Mile 12 (8:08)

Passing mile 12, I had 1.1 miles. It's GO time! I started picking up my pace. At about mile 12.7ish I switched over my garmin to overall pace and looked at my overall time. HOLY SHIT! It was in the 1:41s. I had about .4 to go. I could do this. What kind of time was I on pace for? I had no idea. So I pushed it.   
Mile 13 (7:53)

I saw the finish line.. my stomach was feeling iffy at this point. I was going faster than my stomach wanted me to. I kept my eye on my watch. 1:42:30. At this point I wanted to try to run a 1:42:59 and I was counting down in my head. I was soooo close. I ran my heart out. I crossed at 1:43:13. I was just in disbelief. I was feeling great!

Finish Time 1:43:13
Overall Pace 7:53
11th out of 56 Female 20-24
60th Female Overall

(2 min 35 sec PR,
2 weeks after PRing during Polar Dash)

I scooped up my medal, downed a clif bar with some gatorade... I still had 5 miles to cover (womp, womp) haha. Marathon plan called for an 18 miler... but I wanted to stick around to see Marisa finish. 

Clif Bars, bagels, gatorade, coconut water.. more than enough for everyone. The Clif bars were delicious and I took 2 since I needed to recovery food for the extra 5 miles and Sundays run. I learned the hard way to always eat after a workout. My muscles needed food.
I ran the 5 miles at an easy pace and Marisa was nice enough to wait for me while I went. By the time I came back to the finish line, there was still enough food! A good perk about running training runs during a half. haha I had gatorade on the course and goodies after the 5 miles. I got more than what I paid for. A good ass race, followed by training run and goodies for both.

Marisa & Me before the race

Once in the car and on our way home, I noticed my tummy hurting/burning. I had chafed. BIG time. All around my abdomen, and my sides. The 2 pairs of tights I wore were tied on too tight, and had cut into my skin, badly. I will not post pictures because it looks like someone beat me up haha. Ofcouse I cursed out loud when I jumped into the shower. But that race was worth it.

Back to reality: 48 days till the Marathon. I'm starting to feel really confident in my training and how hard I've been working. Next week is cut-back week and 13 miles for the long run. After that, the long run will be the 20 miler.. I don't know yet if I'll run a half marathon and then add 7 miles. I haven't looked around to see if there's anything in the area... if I do, hopefully I'll shave those 13 seconds off. :D but no plans or goals yet. 

At the moment, next race will be on March 17. LA Marathon. 

What I thought of the race itself:
-loved the t-shirt
-Interesting medal, something different
-enough goodies and food
-fast gear check
-warming tents (almost a must during the winter)
-great volunteers and even had gels on course
-free photo downloads (still haven't seen them)

I didn't get to check out the after goodies too much or any of the sponsors but I'm very satisfied  with what I saw. Def will be on my to-do list next year.

updated 2/4/13
Look what I found! Woohoo! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Race Recap: Midwinter Cruise 5k

Ahh! So I seriously have like 5 minutes to type this because class is about to start and I know if I keep delaying it, I'm never going to type this thing up.

First things first. I don't know why I signed up for this race knowing I had to crap out a 17 miler that day but we signed up either way. Race started at 10:30am, which would've been a great thing if it wasn't for the long run, (we typically set out early on Sundays so by the time 10 o'clock comes around, we're back in our PJs and having a delicious breakfast at home). Last Sunday was different. We were on time, early actually. It was chilly but not extremely cold like TODAY! OMG!

My goal: sub 23

Race Morning
The morning of, I got hungry, since it was already 9 and I had nothing to do but wait until start time. I ate half a slice of pizza the night before, and then I finished it in the morning. Bam. Race Breakfast: cold pizza and half a banana. Not a good idea... I was also trying out some jelly beans for the long run and my smart ass decided to take them before the 5k (my excuse: the package said take them atleast 30 mins in advance)

Finish Time: 22:57
1st Place 20-24
3rd Overall F
The dude says go.. we shoot off. Literally, I just sprinted off. (--->)

I felt good the first mile and half way thru the 2nd, my best friend decides to die (my ipod). I cannot race without music. Nope. Not even a 5k. I hate my breathing, I have no motivation, it's just BORING. So ofcourse my 2nd split sucked.. and the fact that i kept trying to rescue my ipod by fumbling with the buttons, I was just distracting myself... I wasn't able to save it :(
Then I gagged. Out of no where. FML. Do NOT puke.
I kept running and my stomach was telling me to slow down before i hurled.. So I did (slow down).
As I got near the finish line, I saw JV! and he ran with me towards the finish. I was trying to catch deep breathes... not just because i was tired but because i was getting gaggy all over again.

We went inside and drank some gatorade, which helped a little. And I was able to get a few pancakes down.. since we had 14 miles to cover after this. Boo. I never actaully puked, which is a good thing,  but after the 14 miler, (got gaggy again during the long run) I wasn't able to get a meal down all day. Note to self: no pizza, or jelly beans

Anywho, back to the race itself.
Nice small local race. I loved loved loved the pancakes! So delicious. And they had plenty for everyone. Everyone received an award for finishing. There was age group awards and even random prizes being given out to runners. Overall, I would probably do it again (just for the pancakes and the prizes).


We arrived about 30 minutes prior to the start.  They had free parking and enough room, which is always great.  The bib numbers were being distributed inside the school’s cafeteria.  They also gave all the participants the option to pick blue, gray, or black gloves.  As the race time got closer, all the runners went outside to start getting ready to line up.   As we lined up, I noticed that there was no timed mat at the starting line.  They told us that we would have to run two laps then make a left turn to finish.  I was confused, but didn’t really mind because ill be following.

There was a man who was doing countdown, but after the countdown ended everybody seemed confused.  It seemed like everybody was unsure whether to go or not. I started my Garmin as soon as the man finished counting down and took off.  But for some reason the guy in front of me didn’t and I ended up crashing with him and pushing him from behind haha.  After this happened, everybody took off!  As the race took off, we both laughed it off saying how usually there’s a gun or a horn.   After we took off, I quickly felt that we were definitely going at a fast pace.  I was with 5 other guys in the front just trying to my best to keep up.  These guys were obviously fast and were competitive.  Four of them were ahead in front of me and one was behind me, but I didn’t mind.  I did mile 1 at 5:58 and felt okay.  As we were going for our second lap, I noticed behind there was one guy from the group of 5 who was trying to catch up to me.  I did my best to keep him off.  Mile 2 was done at 6:30.  This made me feel a bit discouraged, but I didn’t let it bother me.  It was during this time I told myself that I better start pushing it.  I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody would pass me.  I managed to do my 3rd mile in 19 minutes.  This is when the finish line came in sight and I did my best to sprint towards it.   When I crossed the finish line I saw 19:37, but for some reason the results said 19:42.  Either way, I shaved a few seconds of my total time and PRed.  I also managed to get first place in 20-24 age group , which is always great.

After the race we headed back to the school’s cafeteria were they were giving out free pancakes and sausage links. Yummy!   

-Free pancakes !!
-Finishers award for all participants
-They had raffles and were giving out awards to the winners
-Age group awards
-Race day pick up
-Free parking
-Timed course
-They had volunteers at each mile marker telling you, your total time.
-Free gloves
-No timing mat at start line


Friday, January 18, 2013

This Semester Will Be The Death of Me

School Rambling up ahead. You have been warned.

So school started this week, woohoo! (sarcasm)

I'm usually happy to be back (well I never technically left since I work part-time on campus haha..) but I'm usually excited about a new schedule and courses. Welp, not this time around.

Why this semester is going to be tough:

marathon training + Full Time student  + part-time job + in charge of the UIC Run Club + trying to raise my GPA + Trying to graduate on time = hectic

I'm so glad I quit job #2 a few weeks ago, or else I would've probably ended up dead. Or close to dead.

my poor brain...
I can't afford to fail a class, or else my GPA will go south and it will put me back a whole semester (and delay graduation). 3 of the courses I'm taking are going towards my major, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them

psych geek ♥
 But the other two.. are going to be tough.

Nutrition... is not as simple as people think. Rather, we look at food at a very very very microscopic level.. and how it reacts with our body, how the body uses it as energy, glycolysis, lactic acid cycle, Acetal CoA, blahh blahh blah. Chemistry is not my favorite subject, so of course I'm going to struggle. ALOT. And I'm even tempted to just drop my minor if it's going to jeopardize my graduation and GPA. But I'm soooooooo close to finishing it up. One more tough course next semester, and I'm done with my minor. Ah. :( decisions, decisions...

Can I do it? Well... running has taught me that the hard work you put it, will pay off.

So I'm biting the bullet. I'm going to try my hardest. Study long hours... and hope for the best. My finish line this time is not going to be around the corner, with a timing mat on the ground, or a FINISH banner on top, rather it will be crossing the stage, in my gown with a fake diploma in hand :)

Cross your fingers for me!
This is going to be a verryyy longggg semester.

57 Days until the Marathon
and 1 year and 4 months until graduation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fear of Swimming Again

The last time I was in a pool deeper than 5 feet was probably over 3 years ago, when I was taking life-guarding classes during high school. I taught myself how to swim when I was 16 (after failing PE because I was terrified of drowning). My senior year of high school, there was an after school program for students interested in getting certified as lifeguards. I joined. I thought that it would make me a better swimmer and it did. During the course, besides the in-class practicals, written exams, we also had to practice in the water. Then speed was also an issue. We had to pass the swim test under a certain time. I did fine. I passed and got certified.

What I don't understand, is what happened on Monday night as I swam across the pool towards the deep end. I usually swim in my campus gym (deepest it gets is probably 6 feet). Today, I had a class on West Campus, the pool was 11 feet at it's deepest here. I didn't sweat it when I walked into the pool room. This should be easy. I had just biked 10.5 miles on the stationary bike, so my legs felt like jello.. 10 laps should be fine for today.

First four laps were ok, I would breathe every 3 or 4 strokes. I was calm.
On my third way back towards the deep end, water started seeping into my goggles. I also had no contacts on because my eyes had been bothering me. As they started to fill up with water, I kept swimming. My goggles started bothering me to the point where I had to close my eyes.

I panicked the second I closed them. How far was I from the wall?

Easy now..

I started taking a breath after every stroke. Should I just grab the wall on my left? I tried peeking through my goggles. I could see I wasn't that far away, so I relaxed a little and just kept trying to move forward. My hand finally touched the end of the pool. My heart was beating so fast. Why am I so scared? Is it the fear of drowning? Failing? I use to love to dive into the deep end. What's going on..

I had situated myself in the lane next to the wall, right where the lifeguard was sitting. I shouldn't be worried..

I took a deep breath, and swam towards the shallow end. As I was standing in the shallow, I wanted to quit and climb out of the pool. This is ridiculous.

I was so pissed off at myself. I tried again.

The same thing happened. I was gasping for air near the last few feet from the end. Stupid goggles.

I finally climbed out.

What was wrong with me? I know this was probably because I am unfamiliar with the feeling of swimming in the deep again... but this def scared me. I'm not sure why I'm still scared of drowning..
During my swim I kept thinking of people who compete in triathlons and about the swimmer who drowned in the lake during the race last summer. This really discouraged me. I don't think I'll ever be able to swim in the lake.. Not after today.

I still have hope though.. I'm determined to go back next week (with better goggles). I'm hoping this time around I don't chicken out.


Any tips of how not to freak out?
Is there anything that scares the hell out of you, but you still go ahead and do it?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Polar Dash Half Marathon

Goal for the race was to try to attempt to run it at 1:46-1:47. I knew I wasn't going to hit 1:45 right off the bat so anything under 1:48 would make me happy.

The only reason why I was doing this race was because the training plan called for a half marathon this weekend, and this one happened to be on Saturday (woohoo!). To my surprise, the weather was suppose to be in the 50s. The only thing I didn't anticipate was that I was running it alone (JV had work that morning). So I invited a friend from the UIC Run Club to run it with me . We both had the same goal, run a half marathon at 1:45 in 2013. We also ran at about the same pace so it was perfect that she was able to do it. We went ahead and registered the week of the race. 

Morning of
I was beyond nervous. I didn't know why, but I just couldn't sleep the night before and in the morning, I just wanted the race to be over with. I ate half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I find it better not to carb-load the night before and just eat something small in the morning.

The race started near Grant Park, and the course was on the lakefront path. Many races in 2012 were on the same course, so it felt very familiar and I already knew this course well. I knew where there was small uphills and downhills as well as where to watch my step. This course also brought back memories of PRs and my first half, so it comforted me a little.

After checking in our bags (long lineeee, longer than the port-o-potty lines), we headed over to line up at the start line. The weather felt awesome. I chose to run in my running tights even though it wasn't that cold because I knew it was suppose to get colder and it's usually windy-er (?)  by the lake. So I stuck to wearing tights, t-shirt and arm warmers. Took a Shot Blok 5 mins before the start.

Off we went!

During the Race
Mile 1: Weaving in and out of people. Tried not to speed off to fast and kept M. in my sight. (7:57)
Mile 2: Started behind the 1:50 group, so I sped up and caught up to the 1:45 group before they got any further away. (7:44)
Mile 3: Feeling good. Still see M. a few feet in front of me. (7:54)
Mile 4: Wooh! Still feeling good and sub 8 pace (7:54)
Mile 5: Tried to keep my sub 8 min splits (7:59)
Mile 6: Almost half way! And my split have all been at sub-8! It hit me that maybe I could try for my 1:45 today. Just Maybe. But I wasn't sure what pace I needed since I was just trying to hit 1:47, damn. (7:57)
Mile 7: Still with the 1:45 group. At the turn around I see M. and cheered her on! She's def going to hit a sub 1:45! There's a water stop ahead, so I take a Shot Blok and I decide to take a small walk break during the water stop. I can afford a few seconds and also decided to walk because I know I'm going to start slowing down and need my legs to stay fresh (8:04)
Mile 8: Still feel good. Although my splits are no longer in the 7mins, I know I'm def going to PR today (8:01)
Mile 9: 4 MORE MILES! Another Shot Blok and stopped for more water and Gatorade.  (8:13)
Mile 10:  Ok.. Now I'm starting to feel a little tired. Up ahead, I see M. on the side of the path, uh oh. I slowed down, gave her one of my Shot Bloks and told her we only have 3 miles to go. Keeping myself from speeding up since I still had 3 miles to cover. (8:25)
Mile 11: At this point I switched my watch to overall pace instead of lap pace. I noticed my overall pace was 8:02! I knew that if I kept up this pace, it was def going to be a 1:45!! I couldn't believe it! Water Stop --> Mistake, I start feeling really bloated. I probably drank too much water and gatorade today, oops (8:16)
Mile 12: Looking down at my watch boosted my confidence more and more. I noticed a girl in front of me around my age and tried speeding past her. Every time I tried, she would run harder, small segments of mini-sprints. Gosh I wish I had the energy to do that right now. (8:10)
Mile 13: Wooh! That was a negative split! I was still a few inches behind the girl. I look down at my watch at the 13 mile mark! My watch says 1:45! I can do this!!!! (8:15)
Last 0.1:  I keep running and keep looking down at my watch. I need to cross the finish line before 1:46

Finish Time: 1:45.48

9th out of 53 Females 20-24
41 out of 481 Females
(3 min PR, and my 2013 goal achieved)

After I crossed... I stood there. In shock. How did I do that? How did I accomplish something I had yearned for, for so long. I didn't know how to feel. I looked down at my Garmin and stared.
Wow. I did it. I really really did it. I walked over and got my medal and waited for M. to finish. We had just finished an amazing race.

I'm still trying to digest the fact that my legs held up pretty well throughout the race. I slowed down when I needed to and stopped to walk whenever I felt like I could afford to lose a few seconds. I took the first 7 miles at a medium effort, and tried setting myself on "cruise-control" not slowing myself down, but not pushing to speed up. That also worked for my during miles 10-12. I didn't panic if my split was bad, because I knew it was going to be a good time regardless.

After collecting our medals and our goodie bags (banana, bagel and chocolate) the Accelerate tent was up ahead and there was hardly anyone waiting. I felt no pain, but my legs could use a little stretch. We were also able to exchange our fleece! (During registration, the only fleece they had available was XL) They offered to exchange our fleece and if our size wasn't available the day of the race, we had the option to receive a $20 voucher in exchange for the fleece (woop woop!) The fleece is very comfortable, with pockets, and is thicker than most of the fleeces given during races (a plus).
There was nothing really going on after, so we warmed up with some Chai Tea Lattes at the nearest Starbucks.

-Course: Lakefront path, meh. Not interesting, flat, but I knew it well and it worked in my favor.
-Goodies: After the race, we were handed water and a clear small plastic bag with our banana, bagel and chocolate already in it. Saved us the time to be going around with food in our arms, but I wouldn't mind a granola/chewy bar or small gatorade bottle.
-Fleece: Comfortable, durable, and with pockets. Plus it's cute. We also got a penguin warm hat, for those freezing runs.
-Price: Got the registration on sale (20.13% off) the week of the race! Def good deal for a half marathon and ~$59.
-Medal: Awesome
-Weather: Perfect

Will I do this again next year?
If I could get the registration for a lower price, definitely.

My plan for f^3 in 2 weeks?
Well.. I have 8 weeks of marathon training to go. I don't want to risk getting injured.. I am also signed up for the Midwinter Cruise 5k and have 17 miler next weekend. Depending on how I feel, I might go after a 8:00min half marathon pace (or maybe even 7:59 if everything works in my favor like today). It felt like everything just clicked today. I also felt like last weeks 15 miler helped me get use to running distance and endure running with fatigue legs (I can probably thank the marathon training plan for that). I'm so happy for this time and I can't wait for the 5k next weekend. I might be able to shave those 6 seconds off and finally get my 22:xx min 5k. But before I get all excited, I'm going to take it easy and not expect everything to work in my favor.

Because it feels amazing when you accomplish something when you least expect it :)

Marathon Training Week 8 + 9

Week 8
Week 8

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles to start off the year
Wednesday: 7 miles
Thursday: 4 miles + p90x abs
Friday: 3 miles + p90x Shoulders & Arms
Saturday: 7 miler + p90x abs
Sunday: Long run 15 miler!

I felt great this week (and I'm starting to incorporate more strength training workouts on short running days)! During the 15 miler, my goal was to run it at least at a 9 min pace, but I ran with JV the whole time and with him I'm usually faster. We ended up doing 15 miles at 8:46 pace. I didn't feel too bad afterwards either. I also got a chance to see my progress. We ran 13.1 miles in 1:55.
Back in June, running 13.1 miles in 1:57 was the fastest I could go and today on a training run, I was doing it at medium effort. I was thinking of all the hard work I have put in and how far I still have to go to reach my goals. One thing I forgot today is the importance of fueling and hydrating. I didn't bring along water with me but I did bring Shot Bloks (prefer them over GU). They work fine for me except sometimes I need water to drink it down. Afterwards, I felt dehydrated (which tends to happen to me alot). I felt woozy and even felt like I was about to hurl. I've had this problem for a while.. it could be either after a hard effort run or a long run or too little water, but I feel horrible afterwards  and sometimes I start seeing dark spots. The only thing that makes it go away is usually after I end up throwing up or I sip on orange juice. It also goes and comes randomly. Sometimes I run at a hard pace and feel fine and sometimes I go on a short run and suddenly I feel dizzy. But anywho, after the 15 miler, I only gagged a little and ate a banana while sipping on water and felt fine afterwards. Still curious as to why this happens.

Week 9
Week 9: Step-Back Week

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 miles.. slow and recovering + p90x Shoulders & Arms
Wednesday: 1 mile warm-up + 4 tempo miles (7:52 pace) + abs
Thursday: 3 slow miles, prepping for Saturdays race
Friday: no running; 30 mins of p90x Chest & Back + abs
Saturday: Polar Dash Half Marathon! (spoiler: new PR ;))
Sunday: 4 Easy shakeout miles

Kept my runs at an easy pace this week after the 15miler and also because of the half marathon. Did a 4mile tempo on Wednesday to get speed training in. Although I thought I wasn't going to be able to run my tempo miles at a sub-8 pace after the long run, and also because I was still a little stiff, I was a little skeptical. Once I warmed up, I focused on keeping my pace and surprisingly I was able to. It was tough, but I did it. I'm also really comfortable getting in strength training on my short-run days.

I was def ready for Saturday's Polar Dash Half Marathon.

On Sunday, I felt like I could go for a short run to loosen up my calves since they felt a little tight. Kept it slow, and just enjoyed being out there.

Week 10, bring it!
8 weeks of training left
and 6 weeks till taper!!!

Midwinter Cruise 5k and 17 miler here we come :)

(Oh yeah, first day of Spring Semester tomorrow, one year and 4 months till graduation!!!!!!)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marathon Training Week 6 +7

Week 6
Week 6
Monday- I was suppose to go swim with JV... but we got lazy. Took a rest day because I can (and because of Sundays Half)
Tuesday- easy slow 3 miler (9:00min pace)
Wednesday- 5
Thursday- another 3 slow miles
Friday- Rest Day :)
Saturday- 6 mi
Sunday- I cut it short by a mile because I felt like crap. 8 miler. Done

Week 6 was a "step back" week, and the whole week I tried keep my pace above 8:30 and around 9:00min miles. I felt exhausted, I don't know if it was the half marathon, or the temperatures getting colder, or my lack of motivation but I felt crappy.

Week 7
Week 7
Monday- (Christmas Eve) Cross-training consisted of 2 slow miles, stretching and abs (again, I suck at cross-training)
Tuesday- Progressive run 4 Miles
Wednesday- 7 miler. Nothing interesting
Thursday- Wooh! Speedwork! Did 8x400s (with progressive effort each one) recovery jogs in b/w 4mi 
Friday- ..err "Rest Day". I was feeling good, so I jumped on the treadmill for 30min and also did some p90x arms and shoulders
Saturday - Dash into the New Year 5k + 4 slowwww tough miles = 7 miles
Sunday - Long Run! ah. it was hard and cold. Need to start experimenting with energy gels and stuff. I'm glad I wasn't alone thanks to JV and Christina (who joined me half way). 14 miles done!!

Week 7- I felt really good, thanks to the step-back week and slow running during week 6. I think the PR had something to do with recovery week.

So far, I love this training plan. I think it really fits to what I'm use to running and I even added some running days when I wasn't suppose to for week 7.. so thats a good sign I picked the right plan. If I feel the same way next week, I might even consider going up a level to Intermediate II.. I'll see.

Shoes- the day of the 14miler, I used my Saucony Hurricane 14's. The only thing I don't like about them is that I tend to blister for 12+milers in them, in one certain spot on my toe.. wierd. I've tried everything from putting glide and band aid on it, but no cigar. So I'm looking for new distance shoes. I have started breaking into my adidas and the longest run on them has been 7 miles.. so far so good. But for a marathon? Not sure yet. They felt awesome for the 5k, thats for sure.

Energy Gels/Gu's - Have not tried anything on my runs yet. During half marathons, I usually take Shot Bloks, yummy. Except, at the end of each race, my tummy usually tends to cramp up a little. Experimenting will  start soon and hopefully I'll incorporate real food like pretzels.. but during the winter runs I will probably not want anything besides something warm. lol

Half way through marathon training! ahhh.

-Does it really matter if I stick 100% with the mid-week runs? Sometimes I feel like running more, but I stop myself since I feel it might affect the rest of the week.

-Any food/energy chews/gels you recommend?

Help! (Re-)naming Blog ?

I figured it's time to actually name this blog.. I accidentally left "Eat.Run.Sleep.Repeat" as a header.. and never bothered to change it. Oops.

And well.. new year.. new name? (It's actually on my 2013 To Do List")

I've been also wanting to change the "" to my own domain.

So far, me and JV have thought up very few names...

  • Just Running
  • 2BusyRunning
that's it.

bahaha. yeah we're stuck. Suggestions? Should I even bother to change it?

Help me pick a new name!

Now... GO!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: Newborn Runner & Goals

Goals for 2012:
  • Half Marathon under 2 hours
  • Run 1000 miles (1295mi ✓)
  • Run a sub 1:50 at the Chicago Half
  • Run 12 races 
  • Lose 10+ lbs over the summer (failed)  
  • Run 1:45 Half Marathon (failed) 2013, you better be ready!
ChiTown 10k

This year was full of PRs and new distances, which I predict will happen less often in 2013 since this was my first year racing. I never thought I would be training for my full marathon at the end of 2012, but here I am. Looking back, this was an amazing year. I have learned alot from other runners and I feel like next year will be even better.

2012 Mini Recaps

April 1 - Chi Town 10k (52:21)  8:26 pace 
First 10k and race #2. I wasn't expecting to place in my AG or run a sub 8:30 pace since I had no idea what "speed work" consisted of. Goal: finish
Goal: Achieved. Placed 2nd in AG (PR? at one point)

June 24 - Chicago Women's Half Marathon (1:57.17)  8:57 pace
First Half Marathon, registered 20 days prior to race day. Why? Because I thought I was finally ready. Goal: Run a sub 2:00
Goal: Achieved
Chicago Women's Half Marathon

July 22 - Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon (1:56.32)
2nd Half Marathon, goal: PR
Sprinting to the start line or the 80+ degree weather didn't help, but surprisingly I still PRed :D

August 12 - Chicago 10K (49:44)  8:00 pace
2nd 10k, Goal: Sub-50min
I knew what I was doing by now. Speed work, and the weather cooperated. 

Goal: Achieved (PR)
September 9 - Chicago Half Marathon (1:49.27)
This was my Goal Race. I had been wanting to do this race since 2011 (when I would only run up to 5 miles and had hopes of finishing this race one day) and today I wanted to run a 1:50.
Goals: Achieved (PR & sub-1:50)

Chicago Half Marathon
September 16 - Newton Ready to Run 20miler
This wasn't a race, but I broke my distance record to date here. It was tough, and painful. I should've trained for it or something. But now 16 miles doesn't sound so bad now during marathon training.  

October 26 - Freedom Isn't Free 5k (23:51) 
First 5k, Goal: a 23:xx time
Going into this race, I didn't know what to expect. I had been doing half marathons all summer. So this kind of scared me. 

Goal: Achieved (PR?), Placed 1st in AG

November 10- Chicago Perfect 10 - 10k(48:43)                                         Current 10k PR*
Goal: PR, this was just a random race that was paid for by UIC and the only thing I wanted was a faster time. 
Chicago Perfect 10
Goal: Achieved (PR), Placed 3rd in AG

November 18 - Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10k (48:45)
Goal: PR. This was the first ever race I did not place or PR. My excuse? well 20-29 AG is tough to place in and I had just PRed a week before. Still had fun
Goal: failed :(

November 22- Long Grove Turkey Trot 5k (23:45)  
More turkey-trotting! This was one my favorite races.
Goal: Achieved (PR & Placed 2nd)

December 9 - Rudolph Ramble 8k (38:36)
Indy Santa Hustle Half Marathon
First 8k. Tough overall, felt exhausted and I hated speed at the moment. Didn't place but it's a PR? I think lol since there are no other times for this distance. ✓-ish

December 16 - Santa Hustle Indy Half Marathon (1:48.39)             Current Half Marathon PR* 
Goal was to PR, and to run a race out-of-state! 
Goal: Achieved (PR and Placed 3rd)

December 29 - Dash Into The New Year 5k (23:06)                                       Current 5k PR* 
This race wrapped the year up. Left me wanting to race another 5k soon. Def achieved my goal of a PR and placed 1st in my AG and 2nd Overall female.

Total Miles: 1295mi
Total Races: 12
PRs: 11
Placed in top 3 AG: 6 times

Progress in 2012:

In 2013, I'm hoping for some great races, and great times. I feel like I have barely started learning and training that I def have better times in me. So far, I have no scheduled races between now and the marathon, I'm not sure what I'm going to blog about from now until then :/ haha (The marathon is looming closer and closer  Ahh!)

Blogging-wise, I never thought people would actually read this haha :)

Happy Running! And Happy New Year!

What do you expect to see in 2013? Trying anything new? (distances, races, cross-training,etc)