Race Wish List

Last night, #RunChat started out about races and bucket lists. Which reminded me that I had started putting together mine!

How many of you have a racing wish list? Those runs or events that you just have to make sure you get to one day? For me, it’s hard to think about because you can’t put a date on all of them. I want to know I’m training for something RIGHT NOW. Let’s do this! All the same, I think it’s time I made a list.

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SLO Marathon. This is my hometown race. Through the happiest city in America (seriously. We were on Oprah.). Through the vineyards. Ending at Madonna Inn. Something tells me that I want this to be my first marathon.

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SLO Triathlon Again. Hometown triathlon. I just have to do it. My aunt did it a million years ago. I thought she was nuts. But I was way fat at the time and thought everything active was crazy. Now, I just have to do it.

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Do I even need to explain this? No. Firemen meet you at the end to give you a Tiffany’s necklace. No explanation needed.

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Bay to Breakers. Have to. All the craziness that SF has to offer wrapped up in a run. What could be more fun?!

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Rock n Roll Vegas. It’s night. It’s fun. I have to do this someday.

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I WILL run Boston. I’ve yet to complete a full marathon yet. But what runner doesn’t have Boston on their wish list??

What are your wish list runs? Why are they important to you?

Hills on Hills…oh Hills

After getting to see part of the triathlon bike course last weekend, I knew I needed to start training hard on the hills. If not, I’m in for a major butt whipping. What better place to train than Wilson’s Creek Battlefield?! With segments like Bloody Hill…oh, Bloody Hill. I’ve been out a few times for training runs. Almost every time, I’ve lost to the hills.

Today, I was determined to beat them.

I had a goal to complete two, five mile loops. No pace goal. Just do it. Happy to say, I crushed it. THREE times. I have to get over my fear of downhills. There is no way around them. It certainly is easier when I’m alone. I may or may not have screamed going down a hill or two. I topped out at almost 33 MPH.

I also made it up every hill. Slowly, but surely. By the last loop, I really felt like I was tapping into pushing down from my glutes instead of working so much from my hamstrings. Way more efficient and comfortable. I just need to keep practicing. I’m very happy with an overall pace of 13.8 MPH. I’m only getting better from here!

Tomorrow is a brick day – swim then bike. Boyfriend is going to help me plan a route around campus. Mostly I want to see what it feels like to come out of the pool and go straight into biking. I’m nervous! In an excited way 🙂

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Review: Pebble watch!

Last weekend, I upgraded from a Jawbone UP to a Pebble smart watch. If you can call it upgrading, I’m not sure they’re on the same level at all. But I returned my UP and got the LAST Pebble in town. The day before they were supposed to be released. It’s amazing. I think the biggest excitement for me is that I have a watch screen that looks like a Pokemon battle from a GameBoy. So cool. Yes, I’m a nerd.

The biggest draw about this for me was that I HATE having to pull my phone out during a run to change music or check my pace. I’ve been interested in getting a Garmin but it seems silly to me when there are so many GPS apps for android or iPhone that, to me, do exactly the same thing. And this does way more than a Garmin. I can use all day as a functional watch, it receives notifications from my phone, there’s apps for sending navigation to the watch, music controls, plus all of the running stuff. And whatever else is developed along the way!

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So, now that I’m two runs in, here’s my review! I love it. Currently, the only app that integrates with it is RunKeeper. I was using Runtastic and I still am in the background because ALL my runs are in there. Runtastic emailed me and said they’re currently developing integration for Pebble and that’s great news for me. Call me if you need a beta tester!! RunKeeper is a great app and they did a wonderful job for being the first running app on Pebble.

The pace is your current pace and the distance seems very accurate. I run the same routes so I know what they should measure and this seemed to be spot on. I know so many people have complaints about GPS signal or losing distance on a run but so far, so good. I also like that you can hide the screen if you’re not interested in seeing pace or distance.

My couple of complaints are that if you get out of theRunKeeper screen during a run, it can cause your watch to disconnect from your phone via Bluetooth. If you’re receiving a text or changing music, that has caused my watch to freeze multiple times and disconnect. It has (so far) always reconnected and popped back up with the RunKeeper screen. But it is a pain. I’m not sure if it’s the app or the watch but that does happen.

Overall, I’m in love with it and would totally recommend it to others. If you can find one 🙂

Sidenote: it was so humid yesterday!! I sweat like a crazy person anyway, but this took the cake. My shorts were so soaked with sweat from mile five on that they were falling down from the weight. Old Navy!!! Get it together!!

Get techy

I’m more of a creature of habit than anything. I stick with what I know for as long as I can just because it’s comfortable to me. That’s probably why I lived at home until I was 24. This applies for technology as well. I use what I use because I know how to use it. Phones, tablets, apps, whatever. But when your boyfriend is a tech nut, you find yourself with new gadgets.

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Enter Pebble. Maybe you’ve heard of it. This thing is PRETTY cool. You can access so much of your phone from this sweet little watch. Text messages, music, whatever. This includes RUNNING APPS!!! I’ve been toying with the idea of a garmin. But creature of habit here. I like love Runtastic. And a Garmin is expensive. I just liked the idea of seeing real time pace on my wrist. Which is why the pebble is so great. It can be my Garmin, does way more AND was about half the price.

I have yet to take it for a run but as soon as I do, expect a review!

Brick it. Brick it real good.

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This is Amy. My running buddy. My sister from the womb of a different time (she killed me in utero. We know this.) She is the reason I’m so crazy. The reason I did a half marathon. The reason I am doing a triathlon. This may sound like I resent her. But I love her. She is so much of why I am here, running wise. Why I am so happy. Ok. Too mushy.

Today, Amy introduced me to my first brick workout. Bike then run. I was nervous. Totally nervous. I’m still getting used to the bike. And I’ve only ridden with boyfriend. But I needed to ride with someone new. Even more important, I got to experience some of the triathlon course.

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The part we rode was tame in comparison to the hills I will see on race day. We drove those, along with the cows that laugh at you as you go up the BIGGEST HILL EVER. The hill that comes after a decline that is basically 90 degrees. Ok. Exaggeration. 80 degrees. I laughed as I drove down the hill. Out loud, belly laughs.

I survived the bike ride. I hit the highest downhill speed I have to date. And averaged about 13mph for 9ish miles. Not bad!! I’m getting over my hill of flying downhill. It scares me. Seeing the course made me understand what I will have to do and there is no choice but to go fast downhill so I can carry some momentum up the hill after.

Jumping off the bike to go run was…new. Different. Weird. My legs were semi jelly after the bike and every step was just a weird feeling. I can’t describe. I will get used to it. I can’t wait to see what swimming then biking is like. I think I may try tomorrow.

Bottom line. You have to step out of your comfort. I’ve been terrified on the bike. Especially of the downhill. But you can’t get better until you do more. Today, I did more. I am proud to say I completed my first brick at a good pace and that I’m ready to keep doing more.

Overtraining: when to say when

If you’re like me, you’re addicted to training. You think more is better and more than more is even better than better. Feel me? If I can run three miles today, then maybe I should run five. Or six. Or maybe I should do a long run in the morning and speed work at night. It’s a slippery slope…

Training for my half marathon, I ran just about every single day for two months. And when I say ran, I mean I RAN minimum three miles a day and did strength training three days a week. This probably explains why I’m a little burned out at this point.

I hate admitting I can’t do something. I know there’s people out there who run twice as much as I do every day. They’ve also probably been running for YEARS. Years upon years…upon years. I have been consistently running for under six months. So, overdoing it? Yeah. Maybe.

I’m an exercise science major. I am EXTREMELY familiar with this bell curve:

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Oh, diminished returns. There is a point where you WILL stop getting better. I see my run times stop improving, my appetite go away, and a whole host of other issues pop up. Sometimes the strongest thing you can do in your training is ADMIT you are overdoing it and slow down.

The last thing you want is to be a slug on race day. Dead legs aren’t fun during training and they sure as hell aren’t fun when you’re trying to set a PR. All that you have gained through training will not go away in a day. Or two days. Take that rest day. Come back feeling refreshed and more focused.

And when you hear me complain that my legs are dead and I cannot function, feel free to ask when my last rest day was and refer me to this blog post.

July Goals and Week 2 TriTraining

Last night I wrote about how I do my goal setting for the month. This morning, it’s time to put it out there.

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June is over, time to move on from what I didn’t accomplish. In the grand scheme, it was a great month. I got a promotion at work, bought a bike, signed up for a triathlon and lost six pounds. This month, I obviously want to stay strong with my triathlon training. I leave for California (HALLELUJAH!!!!) in 22 days and will be there for two weeks. My mind needs to be in the right set to maintain my training and diet so that my triathlon performance is top notch.

This weekends training went well, all things considered. The heat finally caught up to me and I was just exhausted. Saturday I was able to complete a couple miles of speed work, leg strength training and a 6 mile bike ride. Let me make this clear: the relationship with your significant other must be STRONG before you embark upon a bike ride with him or her.

Interested in having a fight? Go for a bike ride! I’m stubborn and prideful and I HATE not being good at something. Hate. Riding a bike? Yeah, not there yet. Downhill terrifies me. Boyfriend is a bit lot more seasoned than I am. And I hate to admit something scares me because who wants to be a wuss? Like anyone else, I’m not such a sweetheart when I get tired, hungry, sore or when I’m awake in general. You get the point. But I accept that he’s just trying to help me, even if he doesn’t understand how the female mind works from a motivation standpoint.

Sunday (after sleeping until 10:30!!) it was a 4 mile run (with hills, because what good is a run without hills and where can you run without hills in SWMO??) and a 20 mile bike ride. I’m gonna be honest, that run sucked. My pace was fine but my challenge hill gave me a case of “omg I’m going to vomit”.

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I know the bike distance is only 12 miles for my triathlon but how can I get comfortable if I don’t spend time on the bike? It rained, we didn’t fight until mile 9 and I didn’t fall. So SUCCESS! Average pace was somewhere 13+mph so I’m getting better.

My biggest concern now is putting all of these things together. When do you start putting your training together? What is a realistic way to start?

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