Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Keeping Myself Busy

As most of you know (because you are either runners or have runners in your lives), when the taper comes prior to a race runners go CRAY-CRAY! Not only are they running fewer miles (as to rest their bodies for the upcoming run) which can cause a runner to go a bit cuckoo on its own, but then add in that they have all kinds of extra time on their hands due to the decreased mileage and this can be a recipe for disaster.

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Let's just look at my training as an example. My peak week, which was two weeks ago, I ran 50 miles, biked 16+ miles and had a strength training workout. This current week, since Sunday, I have only run 7 miles. Before my race on Saturday I have a single 3-mile run left to do. I realize that for someone who doesn't run a lot these numbers may seem high, but for what my body is used to doing this mileage is almost non-existent.

Instead of letting my mind race [pun intended] and come up with all the reasons why my training wasn't good enough, think of all the scenarios that may or may not play out on race day, freak out about the weather/ course/ etc, pack-unpack-and-repack fourteen times, I decided I would try and keep myself busy.

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Some of you may know, but within the last few months I accepted a job doing social media for a company. It's just a part-time gig, but it works perfectly and I am really enjoying it (hopefully they are enjoying having me as well ;)).

One of my roles is to try and revamp their blog a bit. We did some brainstorming and came up with a few blog series that they would like to have, so I have been reaching out to my friends who like the brand to help me out. Well, as you can imagine, I ran through my circle of friends rather quickly so had to be a little creative to find more sources.

Yesterday I decided to do a little crowd sourcing and posted on a couple of my social media platforms to see if anyone else out there wanted to help me out. Little did I know that I would receive the response I would and be overwhelmed with the number of people willing to opt in. In the past 24 hours I have sent over 70 emails to different people with details on the different blog series and how they can help. Now I totally understand that 70 emails will not necessarily turn into 70 blog posts, but something is better than nothing.

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This means that my normal 1.5 to 2 hours a day of work sky-rocketed and I have worked 11 hours in the past two days (and doubt I'm done for today). Again, that may not seem huge, especially when compared to a full-time job, but it sure has kept me busy and my mind off of the race that I am running in less than three days...

Hopefully, this means I am killing two birds with one stone feeding two birds with one seed and avoiding stressing out about the race AND getting some of my future work done before crunch time. Only time will tell, right?! 

How do you keep the taper crazies at bay?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Nerves: All Time High

As a way to try and not focus on the upcoming St. George Marathon, I have been keeping myself busy with a plethora of activities... Laying in the sun, going to Disneyland, trying to eat healthy, taking Epsom salt baths, watching movies, snuggling with the pup, getting tattoos, foam rolling the crap out of my legs, etc.

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#RealTalk: Let's just say that although my schedule has been filled, so has my brain...

I wish I could say that I am heading into Marathon Week calm and collected, but I am having a minor major freak out! I printed out my pace band for this weekend and every time I look at the times I am supposed to be running my heart begins to race (like, legit, you should see my Garmin tracking my heart rate).

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Just as I told the hubby last night, I am going to give it my all, but I can only do what my body and the day allows. I don't want to give myself an easy out and say that there is always Phoenix or another race, because, darn it, I didn't put in all of this time and training just to run another marathon. Sure, I've heard it's a beautiful race, yes, we are making it into a little girls weekend, but I don't need "just another marathon" to cross off my list. I want to give it my all, see where the chips fall and hopefully run away with my first Boston Qualifying time (or at least see where I measure up and what I need to work on). But my goal and focus is to leave it all out on the course and have NO REGRETS!

My game plan for the week is to try and get as much sleep as possible, foam roll and stretch my legs/ body as often as I can, pack for the race, hydrate like a boss and not pull all of my hairs out...

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I mean, honestly, there is nothing that I will do between now and Saturday morning that will drastically increase my chances for a BQ, but there are things that may drastically decrease my shot (like tripping and breaking my ankle, not trusting my training and going out to run a speed workout only to tire myself out for the race, be so stressed that I get zero sleep and can't fully rest before the big dance, etc). So, for now, I am going to have to take a couple deep breaths, say a couple extra prayers and CHILL THE FRICK OUT!

How do you calm yourself before a big race?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Workout Recap - Week 39

Sunday, September 18th – 5 miles at the track (6 repeats of 800m), Stretched & Foam Rolled


Monday, September 19th – Strength Training (abs, back, legs and arms), 4 progressive miles, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Tuesday, September 20th – 5 mile run of hill repeats, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Wednesday, September 21st – 18.18 mile bike ride, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Thursday, September 22nd –  3 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Friday, September 23rd – 8 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Saturday, September 24th – Rest Day, Stretched & Foam Rolled


25 miles?! Really?! At least some of them were on the track or doing hill repeats so I don't feel so bad about the lower quantity... But isn't it crazy that two weeks ago I was running 50 miles a week?! And I can't believe that in less than a week I will be running the St. George Marathon! Time to see all of this hard work put to the test!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Not My Jam: Friday Favorites

Last week I was brave enough to put a tweet out into the world... I thought I was gonna get a TON of hate for it, but actually, a lot of us rallied together and it seemed to give everyone a little boost of brave... We all came out of our shells a bit, put on our big kid panties and said to the world, "THESE THINGS ARE NOT OUR JAMS."

So I thought why not make it into a post and switch up my Friday Favorites post a little... This week I will be sharing a list of some things that are NOT my jam (but that 'everyone' seems to love). I hope by the end of reading this you do not think less of me as a person, but that we can embrace one another's differences... And, shoot, with me not liking something, that just means there is more of it for YOU, so maybe you should be thanking me ;)


Pumpkin Flavoring


I know, I know, as soon as there is a hint of fall in the air everything seems to change over to PUMPKIN! And I have to say publicly, it is NOT my jam! I think it started because I have a texture "thing". So, back in the day, when you would see pumpkin flavoring it was in the form of a pumpkin pie. Well, let's just say that the mushy, gushy texture was something I wanted NO part in. I think that aversion stuck in my head to make me believe that I not only disliked the ooey, gooey texture of pumpkin pie, but I wanted nothing to do with pumpkin flavor in general.

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Coffee


Which leads me to my next dislike (because where there is pumpkin, pumpkin spiced lattes tend to follow), coffee. I think I have mentioned this before, but in case you are new to these parts or just don't remember, coffee was never something we had in our house growing up. My dad would take two Pepsi's with him to work in the morning. I would wake up for my 7:30am college classes with a 20 ounce of Diet Mountain Dew. I have never 'acquired' the taste (or even the smell) for the drink. Since giving up pop (soda for all you non-Michiganders), I usually just stick to good ol' H2O. I'm sort of glad I no longer feen for the caffeine because I don't know that I want to give myself over to the dark side and have to gulp down that bitter stuff you all crave and talk so fondly of. (And just in case you were wondering, I don't like tea either...)

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Beer/ Wine


And while we are on the topic of beverages, let's just be completely transparent... Beer reminds me of pee. There, I said it. And, NO, I have never drunk pee before, but if I did I think I might have a hard time determining in a blind taste test which cup was beer and which was urine. Beer and wine are two additional beverages that I never acquired the taste for. (I am much more of a hard liquor kind of gal anyway.)

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Chocolate


This one takes the cake for a lot of you, especially the ladies... I wouldn't say that I hate chocolate, but I definitely don't prefer it. If I had a choice, I will always pick the fruity, gummy type candies over chocolate. And then, if I "must" have chocolate, it should be 'white' (which, by the way, is white chocolate even a chocolate, it's probably more of a vanilla than anything, right?!) or mixed with another flavor like peanut butter (because peanut butter) or mint. But overall I don't have a super sweet tooth (unlike my hubby who is like a humming bird and feens for the sugary stuff 24/7).

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Okay, so now that I've let the cat out of the bag (oh, and don't get me started on cats), have your opinions of me changed? I sure hope not, but at least now you know what you are getting into when claiming me as a friend ;)

What is something that everyone else seems to like and you can't stomach?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BMO Harris Bank Mesa-PHX Marathon

New name, same great race! The Phoenix Marathon has updated its name (mostly because the entirety of the race is run within the city limits of Mesa) to the BMO Harris Bank Mesa-PHX Marathon.


Even with the updated name, you can still get a discount using "WERUNSOCIAL" when registering (both for the half marathon and full marathon distances). And, let's be real, any money we can save on race registrations is AWESOMESAUCE (because then we can use it for running gear or more race entries, #AmIRightOrAmIRight?!).


And, just because I like you, if you register between today (September 22nd) and next Thursday (September 29th) you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a $200 gift card to Sole Sports. Um, can you saw AMAZEBALLS?! They've got everything from shoes and apparel to fuel and hydration packs. [And in case you aren't local, you can order your goodies online and have them shipped directly to your front door - talk about convenient!]

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If you have been waiting for 'a sign', take this as it and head over to https://thephoenixmarathon.com/marathon-registration/ and register today!

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PS I will be running the full (depending on how the St. George Marathon goes next weekend I may be training hard-core for a BQ or may plan on running the race with friends) and the hubby is already registered to ROCK the half. So now you can't say you don't know anyone running the race... NO EXCUSES!

**UPDATE: The giveaway has been extended until October 7th... so you have a few extra days to make your decision... but don't delay!**


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mental Strength - Do You Have It?

Today's run was all about mental strength. I had 5 miles on the schedule so I figured I'd make them hill repeats (I mean, if you're gonna go, you might as well go big, right?!). We have a pretty decently sized hill about a mile from our house (for those of you who ran Ragnar SoCal this year, you trucked up it during leg 16 {I think}). Running to the hill is hilly, then the hill is about a quarter mile long, so I run it 6 times (meaning I get another 3 miles of hills) and finish by running more hills back to the house.

Elevation chart from today's run (about 900 feet of elevation gain in the 5 miles)

Normally my goal with hill repeats is NOT speed... I know I will always run hills slower than I run flats, so I actually don't even look at my watch during hill runs. What I DO focus on is strength. I want to run hills strong, no matter my pace.

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Stopping and taking a breather is easy, but I do my darnedest to make sure I keep trucking. Today, during my last repeat, I literally tried to stop my watch at least three times. It would have been so easy to hit pause and take a brief break (I mean, who would have known, really?!), but with my goal race being 10 days away (holy crap, that just got real!), I knew it would not benefit me to do such.

These shoes were made for RUNNING and that's just what they'll do!

I will be the first to confess that my mental game is where I suffer. Whether it's because I don't think I can do it, because I don't want to push myself hard enough to see if I can do it, because I really don't want to lose my love for running - whatever the case it is so easy for me to write myself off and check out when the going gets tough.

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For example, I could go into a race with a goal in mind and then have a friend ask me to run a 'fun run' with them and I will throw any goals I had out the window in a nano-second. Sure, maybe you think that is because I care about my friends (which, believe me, I do), but it very well also might be because I have a hard time believing in myself, believing that I can push through pain, believing that the outcome is worth it, believing that I am worth it.

But, today, I prevailed. The time on my Garmin may not have been impressive, but every time that I wanted to give up and give in, I told myself that I could do it... And guess what?! I DID!

Sometimes you've just gotta believe in yourself
and DESTROY YESTERDAY!

If you have been following Kelly Roberts' #BQorBust journey, then you know that her mantra lately has been "No Regrets". When the run got rough (and I don't mean like it physically hurt... sure, it was physically tiring, but I try to do a good job about listening to my body and although I would have appreciated a break I knew my body didn't NEED one), I told myself 'You could throw out a ton of excuses - the weather, bad fueling, crazy humidity, tired legs, etc, but in the end you would regret not pushing yourself harder. NO REGRETS.'

Here's to hoping the rain helps with the humidity... 

Now, mental strength may not always be my forte, but today I had a bit of an internal battle and I am proud to say I came out victorious. Every day and every battle may not end in my favor, but I need to celebrate the ones that do!

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Is mental strength a strength or struggle for you?

Monday, September 19, 2016

St. George Marathon Goals

Putting your goals out for the world to see is hard. I don't want to fail, especially not publicly. I don't want to let you down, especially if you truly believe in me. I don't want to make a fool of myself, especially if I believe something outlandish that could never be a reality.

But, you know what? I also don't want to live in fear. I don't want to hold back or not go for something because I'm not sure how it will turn out. I don't want to give less than my best in hopes of not being disappointed if I don't hit a goal.

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I want to try (and if I fail then at least I know where to start from next time). I want to give it a go (and if I come up short I pray that I can do it graciously and still bring glory to my God who has given me these opportunities). I want to be proud of myself with whatever I do (and if that means missing my goals then I want to have no regrets).

Okay, so now that you've made it through all my inner-monologue, it's time to get down to business and lay out my goals for the St. George Marathon (which is now less than two weeks away).

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Goal A - Sub 3:32

My Boston Qualifying time is a 3:35, but we all know (or at least people familiar with the qualifying process) that a 3:35 will not get you in... You will qualify, but all of the spots will most likely be taken prior to you getting an opportunity. So, in reality, I would probably need a sub 3:32 to not only qualify for the Boston Marathon but also secure a spot at the coveted race (by the way, this would be for the 2018 race since the time frame for the 2017 race has already closed).

Goal B - Sub 3:45

My current PR is from last year's REVEL Canyon City Marathon. I would love to see that my hard work (even if I wasn't able to get in as many speed sessions as I would have liked this training cycle) is paying off and I am stronger and faster than I was on that race day (not to mention I'm hoping this course isn't as much of a quad killer as REVEL was).

Goal C - Finish with a SMILE

This is always a goal of mine, no matter the race distance or course. I run for the pure enjoyment I get from running (in case you were sadly mistaken, I do NOT get paid to run, it is simply a hobby of mine - something that I am passionate about and my sole soul loves doing). Sure, seeing faster times is great, but I never want to outrun my love for the sport.
So now that my goals are out there for the InterWebs to see, it's time to focus, take a deep breath and try to chase them down with every ounce of my being. No matter what the time on my Garmin says at the end of the race next Saturday, I am forever grateful for the abilities and opportunities I have been given and hope to never take them for granted!
What are your big, scary goals?