Monday, June 17, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 24

Sunday, June 9th – 10.33 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Monday, June 10th – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Tuesday, June 11th – 4 mile progressive run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Wednesday, June 12th – 10.25 mile run {2.5 mile warm-up, 7 x half mile repeats with quarter mile rests between, 2.5 mile cool-down}, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Thursday, June 13th – 6.2 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Friday, June 14th  Rest day, Stretched & Foam Rolled

Saturday, June 15th – 24.44 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Between renovating the condo (which seems to be a full time job from morning to night) to getting in my first speed workout in forever and a decent long run, my body is spent! I definitely need to focus on prioritizing sleep this upcoming week - especially since I have a 50K race in about twelve days! At least the June Gloom will keep the house dark when I want to go to bed by 7:30pm ;) {okay, okay, maybe not 7:30, but I'd be happy with 9:30 after this last week of late nights...}

How were your workouts this past week?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon Race Recap

Two weekends ago I had yet another two race weekend. I ran the Into The Wild Fremont Canyon 28K on Saturday and then the Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday. If you haven't checked out my recap on my trail race, make sure you do it now... Don't worry, we will wait for you ;)


As you know, I'm currently training for my second 50-Miler, the San Francisco Ultra, at the end of July. I had a 22-miler on my calendar for Saturday and a 10-miler on Sunday, so decided 17ish miles on Saturday and 13ish miles on Sunday would net me about the same distance and figured I'd rather do them with friends (and aid stations), so pulled the trigger.

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Saturday morning's race was AWESOME (and hopefully you know that by now because you read my recap ;)). After I drove home (weekend traffic in Southern California is NOT my jam, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do...), the hubby and I worked on priming our condo (FYI - we're in the middle of a major renovation, hence the lack of blog posts outside workout and race recaps). Eventually it was time to shower and head down to San Diego for the #WeRunSocial meet-up.

Source: @werunsocial's Instagram Feed

It was a blast getting to see so many runner friends (both new and old). I love that #RnRSD turns into a major reunion! We had a great turn out for the meet-up and I was stoked the hubby and I were able to make it work with our busy schedule.


Look at how BIG the crew was! 

This was the SIXTH year I have run Rock 'N' Roll San Diego. In 2013, I ran the half marathon (my first Rock 'N' Roll event) and the hubby and I took the train down from Oceanside to San Diego. In 2015, I ran the 5K and half marathon and rode the train to and from the race on Sunday. In 2016, I ran the Fontana Half Marathon on Saturday morning and then rode the train to San Diego for the half marathon (hubby met me down in San Diego afterward so he could join us at the WRS meet-up and drive us home). In 2017, I ran the Fontana Half Marathon on Saturday morning and then was talked into upgrading my half marathon registration to the full because Fontana didn't go as well as I would have liked (was shooting for a PR but it wasn't my day). The hubby and I stayed the night in a hotel down in San Diego so I didn't have to worry about the train situation (and extra-extra early morning wake up). In 2018, I was back to running the RnRSD 5K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. Since staying in a hotel down in San Diego obviously made the weekend a lot more convenient (we live about 45 minutes north of the city with no traffic), we did it again last year. This year, however, since we are in the middle of the house upgrades, we are trying to save our pennies wherever we can. With that being said, I decided to stay in Oceanside Saturday night and drive down for the race Sunday morning. I knew two mornings of extra early wake-up calls would be rough, but shoot, saving the $250 on a hotel and parking is like 5 gallons of paint ;)

And, of course, my body had me up before 2:30am...

Thankfully I had laid out my #FlatCarlee before the weekend arrived and put everything together so I wouldn't have to hunt around at 2am to find something I might be missing. This wasn't my first rodeo, but I wouldn't put it past myself to forget something important like running shoes... (cough cough.... like I did on one of my #Ragnar4Rett relay legs!).

When PRO Compression gives the ambassadors the June sock of the month you plan your race outfit around them!
Cotton Candy PRO Compression socks, magenta Sparkle Athletic skirt, Do Good, Be Kind trucker, white Handful sports
bra
, tank from TJ Maxx, elite Road IDpink and white QALO silicone wedding bands, Nathan Speedmax Plus Flask
handheld
, PROBAR BOLT chewspink Momentum Jewelry wrap, COROS APEX Multisport Watch, and Brooks Ghost 11.

My game plan was to leave by 3:45am so I could get to San Diego by 4:30am (thankfully at that hour there's no traffic). I had reserved a parking spot at a lot between the start and finish, but because street parking is free in San Diego on Sundays I thought I'd see if I could find something when I got down there. Lucky for me there was a spot near the parking lot I had reserved so I was able to cancel my reservation, save $8 and set myself up for an easy getaway after the race.

When in doubt, take a selfie while sitting in the car... 

The #WeRunSocial crew was meeting up (yes, just hours after our meet-up Saturday night ;)) for a pre-race photo at 5:30am. I didn't make it to the Expo on Saturday so needed to get to the starting area a few minutes early so I could grab my bib. Thankfully there was zero wait and I was able to grab everything without any issues. {FYI: Race day pick-up is not an advertised option, but because I was on the #RockNBlog team for the last few years I knew it was possible. Some Rock 'N' Roll races, like Las Vegas, charge you for same-day pick-up, but thankfully San Diego isn't one of them... yet.}

The Solutions Tent had ZERO line when I arrived!

Once I had acquired my bib it was time to use the restroom (seeing as I was there with plenty of time to spare there were zero lines - the early bird does get the worm... or at least the never-been-used port-o-potty... which is better than a worm ;)) and then off to find friends. I also grabbed a banana from the refreshment tent - thanks for the breakfast, Rock 'N' Roll!

I knew my "fueling" wasn't going to be amazing for this race, so
I figured I should probably at least start with something healthy ;)

I arrived to the meet-up a few minutes early, so walked over to the start line to snap a couple quick pictures because I knew it would be hectic once race time actually came around (we normally roll with a BIG crew, which can take a bit of coordinating and finagling to keep us all together, so if I wanted a photo I better do it early or risk missing the opportunity).


The meet-up was a blast, even if it is always a little too short because we have a race to run (ha, obviously the race is the "main event" but seeing everyone is so fun that it's hard to break up the party). I tend to keep my phone away during the meet-up so I can soak up the people and conversations, so most of the photos below are ones I had sent to me afterward.


Look at all of those cotton candy PRO socks

Eventually it was time to jump in the starting corral and get the show on the road. San Diego is where the Rock 'N' Roll events kicked off, not to mention the weather and scenery is near perfect, so it always draws a huge crowd. I think I remember hearing there were going to be like 33 corrals when I was listening to Monica's pre-race podcast.

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If you've read any of my previous five recaps for Rock 'N' Roll San Diego [2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018] or have run the race before, you know that this race (specifically the half marathon distance - because, let's be real, the 5K is only fun because of friends and the full, well, just no!) is a party for just about all 13.1 miles! The neighborhoods all come out and treat the runners like royalty. It's nothing like Boston or LA, but San Diego still holds it down and does a runner good.

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We had a fairly large group from the get-go (I think we were rolling probably 20+ deep at points), but settled in around a crew of between 10-15 (some people hoping in and out depending on pace, stops along the course, etc). There was really no game plan to be had - other than FUN and PHOTO OPS! Seeing as I had run a trail race the day before (with almost 3,300 feet of elevation gain) I was totally in for #PartyPace! And, let's be honest, I never pass up a good character stop ;)

Some of the fun San Diego walls!

A few of the "characters" I found along the way!

You know I love me a library and the streets of San Diego did not disappoint!

95% of the races I run I hydrate with water (I tend to only switch to an electrolyte if it is super warm or humid) and my PROBAR BOLT chews, but, as you know, RnRSD is a party so I hydrated with Fireball and fueled with Donuts (I wasn't sure if I should put the Jell-O shot in hydration or fuel, so you can decide ;)). [Don't worry, I ran with my Nathan handheld so could have some regular H2O every once in a while as well... I mean, I wasn't totally irresponsible ;)]

Mile 4.5 Bar in Normal Heights (right around the corner from where I first lived when I moved to California) is
a MUST STOP! This crew is AMAZEBALLS and does their best to keep the runners "hydrated". 

Left: Sobriety checkpoint?! Don't worry, I passed... / Middle: DONUTS / Right: The watermelon jell-o shot
was delicious but the Taj√≠n spice they put on top of it was NOT my jam... 

In case you didn't follow along on my Instagram stories (with the crappy algorithm I'm not sure how many people even see my stuff any longer...), let me just reiterate that we had a BLAST! We ran when we wanted, walked when we needed and made memories all along the route. We thanked spectators and volunteers, gave out high fives and pet the puppies.

I will rarely ever pass up a Fireball shot or puppy kisses...

I know some people may think it's silly, but I got a little sad in the final few miles because I knew the shenanigans were coming to an end. Don't get me wrong, I'm lucky enough to see some of these running friends multiple times a year, but it's always bittersweet to have our time together come to a close. But don't you worry your pretty little head, I kept a smile on my face and didn't let the impending finish damper our fun. (We always have something on the calendar to look forward to... like Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas... will you be joining us?! Please tell me you're in! If not, register NOW!)

I am loving the "Sasquatch" much more than the RunHappy Rocker from past races!

Left: Spectators rock / Middle: Pet rock / Right: A sign that said "Carol Lee Rocks My World" but I thought if I stood
in front of the "ol" part it'd look like it said "Carlee Rocks My World"... We tried ;) 

Spectator signs rock my socks!

And, just like that, (okay, maybe not "just like that" seeing as it took almost 3 hours to finish, ha) the finish line was in sight!

Everyone needs a finish line selfie, right?!

The extra distance is probably from crossing back and forth on the course all
morning for all of the photo ops I saw along the way ;) 

Most races (at least for me) aren't about the time on the clock, but the time spent on the course, and this was definitely one of those races. Memories were made, laughs were genuine, drinks were drunk, smiles were real, fun was had by all.

WE DID IT!

After snapping a few photos it was off to the car to head home and get back to the house renovations with the hubby. (One nice thing about a 6:15am race start is you can be home by 10am to start your day!) #RealTalk - after "fueling" with only donuts on the course, I couldn't wait to get to the car and slam my PROBAR BASE bar that was calling my name!

Not sure if you noticed, but they have new packaging AND I LOVE IT!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I'm already signed up for 2020... and this time the hubby will be joining in on the fun! Pre-sale prices have already ended for next year (normally I would've loved to have gotten this recap up earlier so you could have registered at the lowest prices but #adulting got in the way), but if you want in, I'd highly recommend watching out for sales (like Black Friday) or grabbing a Tour Pass if you plan to run more than two Rock 'N' Roll races.

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How early do you normally register for a race?

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 23

Sunday, June 2nd – Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Monday, June 3rd – 90 minutes on the stationary bike, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Tuesday, June 4th – 4 mile progression run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Wednesday, June 5th – 10.61 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Thursday, June 6th – 8.88 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Friday, June 7th  5 miles with the hubby, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Saturday, June 8th – 24 mile run, Stretched & Foam Rolled


Over 65 miles for the week - BOOM! Technically Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but I have a hard time turning the hubby down when he asks me to run with him... I was planning to start incorporating at least one speed workout a week starting this week, but by Thursday my legs felt like led and the humidity definitely wasn't helping the situation (it zaps my energy...) so I just ended up getting in the miles. I will start doing a speedwork workout a week - I promise!

How were your workouts this past week?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Into The Wild Fremont Canyon 28K Trail Race Recap

Saturday morning was the Into The Wild Orange County Fremont Canyon 28K Trail Race.


As you know, I'm currently training for my second 50 mile race - the San Francisco Ultra at the end of July. My training plan had 22 miles on the calendar for Saturday and 10 for Sunday. Since I already knew I'd be getting in 13+ on Sunday with the Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon, I thought this race would be PERFECT when Elise told me about it.

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You see, the Fremont Canyon Trails have actually been privately owned for the last 60 years so you are only able to explore them a couple times a year when they open them to the public or with a docent-led program, which I was lucky enough to do back in September of 2017. What better way to celebrate National Trails Day than by opting outside?!

It's awesome that Into The Wild OC Trail Runs can get access to these trails!

I sort of love that this race is "old school" in the sense that you still mail in your printed registration with your check (you all know I love snail mail, not to mention you save on the extra fees websites tack on when you are checking out...).

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The hubby and I are currently in the process of renovating our condo, so it's a bit of a cluster around here. One thing that helped calm my nerves was taking my #FlatCarlee picture, that way I knew I wouldn't forget anything come race morning.

My #FlatCarlee included - Navy Dot PRO Compression Socks, Yellow Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Trail Sisters Trucker, Nathan VaporHowe
Hydration Vest
, PROBAR BOLT chews, navy Handful Bra, Sarah Marie Design Studio Runner Muscle Tankelite Road ID, blue and black
QALO
silicone wedding bands, blue and yellow Momentum Jewelry wraps, COROS APEX Watch, Epic Wipes and Brooks Cascadia 13.

After a homemade vegan pizza and some foam rolling, it was time to hit the hay because I knew race morning would come bright and early. Even though the race wasn't scheduled to start until 7:30am (which seems late for a race to start, especially one that's ~17 miles), I set my alarms early enough so I could get in a little work before I had to get ready.

My body woke me up before 3:30am... 

Thankfully I looked at the directions close to the time I woke up because for some reason I thought it'd only take me 35 minutes, when, in actuality, it was set to be closer to an hour. Good thing I caught my oversight before it was too late!


I didn't have any plans for the race. I knew I didn't want to "race" because I had a half marathon the following morning (and the elevation gains of close to 4,000 feet told me I'd probably be power walking plenty of uphill anyway), but decided to take whatever my body gave me when I got to the starting line. {FYI - As I was sitting in the car, watching runners head to grab their bibs I knew I was a bit out of my league if I wanted to "race" because everyone looked FAST and STRONG!}

When in doubt, selfie ;) 

I arrived in plenty of time and after I paid my $5 for parking (since the entrance of the trails are within the Irvine Regional Park you have to pay their entrance fee, which is $5 per car on the weekends), I made my way to the bib pick-up. Of course it was very chill, like most trail races are, and I was back to the car within a few minutes.

Thanks to the volunteers who were helping out with the race!!

While I was waiting for the race to start I started freaking out a bit about the snake situation. You see, snakes are plentiful around here and I was especially worried since the trails we were running don't normally have a ton of people on them to scurry them away. (Once I found Elise she calmed my nerves a bit by letting me know the trails were really more fire roads, which are fairly wide, meaning I could stay in the middle of the road and have plenty of room to avoid the slithery snakes if I did come across one. Spoiler Alert - I didn't see any snakes... PRAISE THE LORD!)

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Before long folks started congregating near the starting area and we were getting our pre-race announcements (which included a warning that the weather would be warm so enjoy the cloud cover June Gloom was giving us at the moment).

The weather definitely could have been worse... 

If you've ever been to a trail race, you know most of them occur with little to no fan-fare. There wasn't a National Anthem or a celebrity wishing us luck, just the race director counting us down from five and sending us into the great outdoors.

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Like I mentioned, I didn't have a plan. I ended up sticking with Elise and her brother-in-law for the first few flat miles. Once we hit the uphills Daniel took off like a mountain goat and I eventually started pulling ahead of Elise. There weren't a ton of runners at the event (in total there were 90 finishers), but it was still nice to be able to chat with some as I ran. The community, especially in the trail running realm, is amazing so I love meeting new friends and talking with everyone.

The views definitely did not suck! You can see one of the trails in the distance on the ridge.

I wasn't too terribly worried about the course, mostly because I was just planning to take it easy and enjoy the run. With that said, there was still quite a bit of elevation gain. For most trail races in the past, the strategy of walking steep uphills or ones that I can't see the top, while running the flats and downhills has served me well so I decided to continue with that pattern. I stopped and took a few photos along the way, but for the most part just plotted along, enjoying nature.

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There were four aid stations on the course (at Miles 3.7, 8, 11.4 and 14), which was helpful, but I didn't stop at any of them. I wore my hydration vest (my Nathan Vapor Howe 12L) which was full of water and had my PROBAR BOLT chews with me so didn't see a need for the pit-stops. Even still it was nice to have the volunteers out there to cheer us on.

You can see a runner in the distance, but for the most part, once we all got in our groove we were fairly spread out.

Directions aren't really my forte... I could probably get lost in a box if left to my own devices. With that said, I'm always a little nervous to run on new-to-me trails, especially if I can't see the person in front of me because I worry I'll get lost. Thankfully they did a GREAT job marking the course (flour arrows on the ground when we came to a potential fork in the trail, stakes with signs notating 'wrong way' and ribbons on clothespins attached to a bush or tree every half mile or so).

Let me tell you, having a course clearly marked is MUCH APPRECIATED!

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It may look like a big loop, but there were still a few spots you could have veered off course... and, knowing me, if someone
could get lost, it would have been me... so I am stoked they took as much caution as they did to keep us on the right track!

If I ruled the world I would definitely say we should have sunshine 99% of the time (during the day, of course), but the June Gloom was somewhat appreciated during the race. It did keep the temperatures lower (on the other hand, it kept the humidity high - which is definitely NOT my jam!), but the misty cloud cover socked in the magical views so we couldn't see all of the beauty around us. In fact, there were a couple points on the course (towards the tops of the peaks) where you probably couldn't see more than 10-15 yards around you. It was sort of like running in the clouds.

Not sure if you can tell in the background, but it is rather foggy...

I was stoked the views were visible along the Lakeview Trail because they were stunning! Seeing as Southern California always seems to be in a continual drought, things are usually brown, dusty and dead around here, but with the wet winter we had there was some green and yellow thrown in along the hills. I didn't take a ton of pictures because at that point I wanted to take advantage of the downhill we were FINALLY given, but take my word for it - it was gorgeous!


Towards the end of the race I could see a female in front of me. The competitive runner in me kept saying "Maybe she's in your age group, go catch her", but the conservative runner in me kept saying "Remember, you have a half marathon tomorrow - take it easy and enjoy the miles." I'm not sure if it was the last sneaky uphill or just the conservative runner in me, but I didn't chase her down. (I did look at the results to see if she was in my AG... she was... oh well, next time ;))

The race was listed as a 28K, which is equivalent to about 17.4 miles, but I knew it was going to be shorter than that when we met back up with the portion of the course we originally headed out on (if you look at the map, it's sort of like a lollipop, where you run from the start out to a loop, run around the loop {the sucker portion} and then double back on the straight away you started on {the stick portion}). I wasn't too worried about the mileage, seeing as the unconventional distance meant I probably wouldn't run it again unless I do the race in the future, so I didn't feel the need to hit 28K exactly.

When I looked on Strava after the race it seemed like most people had 17.1-17.3 for the distance.
Elise mentioned the previous time they ran it she thought they started a parking lot or two further
away from the trail which added in some extra distance that we were missing in this year's race.

When I crossed the finish line I was given my "medal" which was a mini cowbell. I originally thought the Velcro loop it was on was perfect to go around your finger, but was recently told the bell is actually meant to be hooked to your hydration pack when you are running so bikers and fellow runners hear you coming - HOW SMART IS THAT?! I donate the majority of my race bling to Medals4Mettle, but getting something that I can use is greatly appreciated!

Not a ton of signage for this small race, so I had to take advantage of the photo op when I found it ;) 

I wanted to stick around to see Elise finish (I didn't realize her hubby and kids were riding around in the park, hoping to see her cross the finish line as well). I figured she was 10-15 minutes behind me, so while I was waiting I went over to scope out the post-race treats. I grabbed some grapes and cantaloupe before heading back to cheer in more runners.

Not a huge spread, but with less than 100 runners and the inexpensive entry fee I'm stoked they had anything at all.

Soon enough Elise was crossing the finish line with a 30 minute course PR from the last time she ran the race - BOOM! (She mentioned that the previous time she ran it, that due to the wildfires there were some route adjustments and this course seemed like you could run more of it than the previous one. I am always grateful for a more run-able course!)

This lady is one amazing mama, runner and friend!

I waited around until they started printing out the official finish times because they had mentioned if you won an age group award you had to be present to claim your prize. I checked out the sheet and it had be in fifth place so I went to find the race director and thank her for an awesome event before hopping in the car and making the journey back to Oceanside.

Thanks for the amazing run, Alison!

I would've loved to hang out and cheer in more runners but the traffic said it was getting worse and the hubby and I had house stuff to tackle before heading to San Diego around 3pm for the Rock 'N' Roll San Diego #WeRunSocial meet-up.

"Some traffic that's getting worse" is NOT
what you want to see on the directions...

PS Come to find out, the first two females overall were in my age group and they weren't eligible for age group awards (since they scored overall awards), so I technically am listed as taking THIRD in the 25-34 year old females! Since I left I doubt my pint glass, sunglasses and phone pop-socket will be shipped, but I'm still stoked with placing in my age group.

Apparently I should have been standing on the THIRD place podium... 

I am super thankful Elise told me about this race. Not only were the trails and views awesome, but it was a fairly inexpensive race ($49.99 plus the cost of a stamp to mail your registration). If I am free when future Into The Wild OC Trail Run races pop up on the calendar I definitely wouldn't hesitate about registering for another (or seven). And, shoot, maybe next time I can talk the hubby and more people to join in on the fun! Running is always better with friends!

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Did you celebrate #NationalTrailsDay this past weekend?