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NYCM Goals [spoiler: Don’t Die.]

5 Nov

I can’t believe I’m running a marathon tomorrow.

I can’t believe I’m running THE New York City Marathon tomorrow.

these are all over the city and i love them

The whole thing is completely mind-boggling. I remember watching the marathon with my family growing up. We’d get hot chocolate and set up along 4th Ave. near BAM and watch for hours. I never in a million years believed that one day I’d be one of the runners. In the last year I’ve run 3 half marathons, lost a boyfriend, graduated from law school, took the bar and gained some amazing friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who’s been there for me these past few months – you’ve listened to me when I freaked out, let me wear slippers to bars when my feet hurt too much after a long run and always reminded me that I CAN do this.

Ok, Sapfest 2011 over. Let’s get down to the fun stuff.

welcome to the ing nyc marathon!

Last night, my sister and I headed over to the expo. Because I’m super shady, I wasn’t picking up my bib but I really wanted to walk around and take in the sights and the feel and the experience! I may or may not have bought some “hell, yes, I ran a marathon” gear [including a possibly premature 26.2 bumper sticker].

After dinner, I picked up a pizza and some wine. My sister and brother in law came over and helped make some sassy signs. My whole family is going to be spread out along the course holding sassy signs. My sister made sure to make signs that were geared towards me and signs that were geared towards all of the runners. I’m so excited to see them along the course!

my doofy brother in law. he did not believe this picture would be on the internest. sucker.

And now, drumroll please, my goals for my very first every marathon!

  • Goal A: Enjoy myself! – This is my first marathon in my home town. I know every inch of this course [ask me about the time I got lost and just kept going over the Willis Ave. Bridge for an hour]. I don’t want my family to see me suffering or in pain or miserable. I don’t want to hate this experience and never want to do it again [especially because I’ve already registered for my second marathon … whoops!]. So I want to enjoy it! I’m going to take my time, soak it all in and just smile! (Thanks for the advice, Melissa!!)
  • Goal B: Finish in under 5 hours – This is a super distant second goal. I think my training has prepared me to finish in under 5 hours but if, for any reason at all, this doesn’t feel attainable, then I’m chucking it out the window. The course limit is something like 9 hours, and if it takes me 9 hours to finish, that’s what I’m going to do.

Good luck to everyone running tomorrow!

And a special good luck to #teamawesome running the Athleta Iron Girl tomorrow! Kick ass and take names, ladies!

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Long Beach Half [yes, half] Marathon Goals

8 Oct

I’ve had a super hectic few days – I left NYC on Thursday, spent the day running around LA doing a million errands and started my new job on Friday. All day Friday I kept saying to myself (and my 4 Twitter followers), “I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend, I can’t believe I’m running a marathon this weekend.” Well … that’s because I’m not.

Let’s back up. While in NY, I ran a couple of races with my 11 year old cousin (more on that later). The first race we ran together was a 5 miler and everyone in the family was really excited and proud of him! My family lined up at various points along the course to cheer us on. After the race, while enjoying a delicious post-run Bloody Mary, I commented to my Dad that this was the first race I’d ever run where people came to watch me. Before my first half marathon, I got into a huge fight with my then boyfriend because he wouldn’t come watch me and my second half marathon was so last minute there wasn’t really time to tell anyone. I didn’t (and don’t) anticipate anyone coming to Long Beach and the more I thought about it, the more I was kind of bummed that no one was going to be there to celebrate my very first marathon.

That’s when my Dad mentioned that I should run the NY Marathon. Sure, love to. But NYM certainly isn’t easy to get into & I certainly couldn’t do it this year … Or could I? Long story short, my Dad’s got connections.

Ok, not really.

BUT he knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy and … I’m running the NY Marathon this year. The whole thing has been completely bizarre and confusing. I didn’t find out until this morning (yes, the day before what was supposed to be my first marathon) that I’d be running it. I do feel a little guilty that so many people wanted to run this race and I sort of snuck in, but I promise I didn’t do anything illegal [or did I?].

So what does that mean for Long Beach? Well, it means I’m downgrading to the half. I want to run NY strong and I know that I won’t be able to do that if it’s my second marathon in a month. Also, call me cheesy, but I really want my family to be at my FIRST marathon. I’d been seriously thinking of knocking down to the half anyway – it’s going to be super hot tomorrow and while it’s probably all in my head, I wasn’t feeling ready to run a full.

But now? Now everything is awesome =)

And without further adieu – My Long Beach Goals

  • Goal A -2:20 – This is super ambitious for me. I’m definitely nervous about the weather and if it’s hot, I’m going to end up throwing this goal out the window.
  • Goal B – 2:30 – I’m pretty sure this goal is doable. Ish. Hopefully.
  • Goal C – 2:45 – I know this is doable. I’ll be disappointed if I let it get this far, but I know this week’s been hectic with travel and if it’s hot, this not be unrealistic.
  • Goal Always – Have fun! During my first half marathon, I was in a tremendous amount of pain. During my second half marathon, I threw up. I want to run a smart, fun race tomorrow. I want to remind myself why I like running and feel great going into the next couple of weeks before NY!

Anyone else racing this weekend?

Product Review: Nuun Electrolyte Tablets

27 Sep

Now that I’ve been running longer and longer distances, I’ve found that just drinking water on my long runs isn’t quite cutting it. Here’s my problem – I really like water and I really dislike sugary drinks. I don’t drink a ton of soda or juice. And I REALLY don’t like Gatorade. By itself it’s tolerable, but when I’m running, it just makes me want to throw up. I’ve never really used it during training at all. I accidentally tried it during the PCRF 1/2 Marathon with disastrous results.

But I felt like I needed something extra during this season’s training. I was running more in the heat and it felt like I was drinking obscene amounts of water that didn’t seem to help at all. So I figured I’d give Gatorade another try. Maybe if I cut with a lot of water, I’d like it more. Nope. I went all the way down to 1/4 Gatorade and 3/4 water and I felt like I was gagging every time I drank it. It left a syrupy taste in my mouth that I just couldn’t get rid of. But I did notice that having SOMETHING did seem to help my runs a little (although it’s definitely possible it was all in my head). Enter nuun.

Hello, Lover

I had heard about nuun all over the internets [I follow a bunch of the ladies on their Hood to Coast team among other things]. I loved the idea that nuun doesn’t contain sugar. I also loved that I could carry them in the little pouch of my water bottle – that meant that I could drink regular water, a nuun-filled bottle, and then more regular water. Excellent.

Still, though, I am very poor. Being very poor, I refuse to buy anything that is not on sale. While shopping at REI with a friend the other day, I came across a sale on nuun. How awesome! I grabbed 2 packages – Strawberry Lemonade and Tangerine Ginger. I tried the Strawberry Lemonade flavor after my 5k on Sunday (I really wanted to try it out and I was too excited to wait until an actual run). It had a very, very light taste to it. I was worried that because it had no sugar, the nuun would have that diet soda flavor to it. Luckily, it didn’t at all. It tasted really light. I was a happy, happy girl.

The real test came when I tried it out on my last long run. It was great! I know I don’t drink enough water when I run (largely because I’m afraid if I stop running to refill my water bottle, I’ll just stop). During my last few long runs, I’ve noticed that my fingers have gotten pretty swollen. I was hoping that by adding electrolytes, I could avoid that. Well, mission accomplished! I started with a bottle of nuun, switched to regular water and then finished up with a bottle of nuun. 15 miles later, no swelling. Success!

Overall, the nuun was fabulous! I’m seriously thinking about carrying it with me on race day. How do you hydrate on long runs?

And don’t forget to vote for our Ragnar team name!

Missing: Running Mojo

31 Aug

Last seen here eating 15 miles for breakfast. If lost, please return to Gidget. Reward.

No, seriously. Where did it go? My 15 mile run was amazing. The next day I got a random, spur of the moment invitation to New Orleans (which was amazing! Thanks, sister!). I ran a couple of times while I was there – including a long run that made me think I was actually going to die. I know that those runs sucked because my spoiled So Cal self isn’t used to suffocating, soul-crushing humidity. I totally get that. Logically anyway. But ever since then, all of my runs have felt sluggish. I just can’t seem to get my head in the game. My legs feel ok with the exception of some weird knee pain that I’ve been pretending isn’t there. But everything else about my runs has been craptacular. My lungs feel like they’re burning, I can’t catch my breath, I have a perennial stitch in my side and my head is just NOT there. Every time I take a step, I want to stop running. No bueno.

I’m hoping I just need a few days’ break. I have 18 miles on schedule for this weekend but I’ve already made the executive decision that I’ll be ok with anything over 15. I don’t want to beat myself up and scare my running mojo away. I figure if I keep pretending everything is sunshine and rainbows, I can make it so. What, it doesn’t work that way? Psh.

Where do you go to find your running mojo? Anyone have any to spare?

Long Run Fail

27 Aug

I was supposed to run 16 miles this morning. I made it 4 and every single step my knee hurt. I’m trying really hard not to panic. I’ve been icing and rolling and ibuprofen-ing. I may or may not try to make up the rest of the miles. Part of me thinks it might be better to rest it for a couple of days and see what happens.

REALLY trying not to panic.

Going Long

15 Aug

NOTE: I am working on an “I’m back, here’s what I’ve been up to!” post but I really wanted to put my thoughts about my run this weekend on “paper” before I forgot the details. So let’s pretend that that one comes after this one. Awesome? Awesome.

Marathon training has been … interesting. I feel like it is both Week 47 and Week 2 all at the same time. When I was studying, I was getting the runs in but I wasn’t really focused on them. I finished and that was it. All things considered, I only missed 2 long runs (the weekend before the bar & the weekend after). Certainly not ideal, but much better than I thought I would do.

I had done a couple of 10 milers and they had all felt pretty good. After the Half That Shall Not Be Named, I started to get a little concerned about hip pain. Running on concrete causes some pretty not awesome pain in my hips, particularly the right one. Most of my training runs have been/will be done on concrete. This is because of a combination of weird issues I have with certain trails around LA, a general lack of access to running paths and my laziness – I like to be able to run right from my apartment. A friend of mine has issues with her knees and she switched to a run/walk plan which she said really helped her. She suggested it might help with my hips.

Now. I have mixed feelings about this. I would love to one day run an entire marathon without walking. In fact, that was my original thought with Long Beach – that my goal would be to just run the whole thing, no matter how long it took. But my hips were hurting so much after my “long” runs, that I decided to try the run/walk plan. I run a mile, then walk for 45 sec. to 1 min. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s been pretty phenomenal. I’ve been finishing my runs with almost no pain in my hips and I don’t feel like I’m going to die at the end of every long run. I’ve only been using this plan for my long runs – anything less than 5 miles, I run the whole thing. Anything less than 10, I take my walk breaks every 2 miles. So far I’ve been really satisfied with it.

Yesterday, I had a very scary 15 miles on my schedule. I knew this would be the farthest (furthest? farthest? this is why I wasn’t an english major) I’d ever run. That right there made me exceptionally nervous. I’ve also been running a lot faster than I used to and, in the back of my head, I though about the idea of checking my half marathon time. I’ve never run a “good” half. My first I was super injured and my second Shall Not Be Named. But I’ve been running really well lately, and I was curious to see just where I was. So I had all of these issues running in the back of my head.

Spoiler Alert

There’s also a ton of planning that goes into running 15 miles. Did you know that? I didn’t. At least not at first. But as I was eating my carb-y delicious mashed potatoes on Friday night, it occurred to me that I might have some problems. I couldn’t find my “long run socks” (because yes, I have “long run socks”). On last week’s 10 miler, I noticed the beginning of some chafing at my sports bra line that I wanted to stop before it started this time. And, most importantly, I was worried about hydration. I have an awesome hand held that I’ve been using that’s been getting my through my 10 milers, but only just. I’m completely out of water by the end and I didn’t want to have to run my last 5 miles without water. Because I just run on city streets, there aren’t any water fountains.

Then, genius struck (I’m not just pretty, I’m humble too). I plotted out a route that hit my gym at mile 9.5. That way, I could refill my water bottle and regroup if I had to. See, genius! Sure, there were some super monster hills that I would have to tackle in the last 3 miles, but if I absolutely had to, I’d just walk up them.I headed to bed feeling really nervous about the whole thing.

When I woke up, I had 1/2 a bagel thin with peanut butter and 1/2 a cup of coffee. I grabbed my Garmin, Vaseline-d my sports bra line (TMI? maybe.), popped in my mp3 player and headed out. It was overcast and cool, always a good sign. My first 3 miles were part of my standard weekday route, so they were nice and comfortable. I hit the first hill between miles 3 and 4 and powered up it like a champ (see, humble). I stopped at mile 4 and had my first Gu – strawberry banana. In general, I really don’t care for strawberry banana as a “flavor” but my mom sent it to me in a care package and I wasn’t about to turn down free anything. It wasn’t awful and I couldn’t taste the banana at all (which is generally what I don’t care for).

I ended up having to go under 2 freeway underpasses. The first one was fine, the second was a little unnerving. I generally don’t have a fear of “bad neighborhoods” – growing up in one will do that to you. Still, there’s something about overpasses that make me a little nervous. These were definitely my fastest miles. I also encountered a ton of yard sales that basically took up the entire sidewalk, forcing me to run in the street. I was running on Venice Blvd, a pretty busy street, so this made me really uncomfortable. A couple of years ago I was hit by a car and ever since then I’ve been a little skittish. Note to self: start earlier or pick another route.

I took my second Gu a little late – the start of mile 9 because I had completely forgotten about it. I stopped the gym at mile 9.5ish and refilled my water bottle, then headed on my way home. Several interesting things happened in the last 5 miles. I had planned on taking another Gu at mile 12 but my stomach wasn’t loving me. I decided I’d rather just power through rather than try to force anything down. At the same time, my mp3 player died. I think it got wet from all of my exceptionally attractive sweat. Regardless, it appears to be officially deceased. Sadface. I definitely didn’t like the idea of running the last 3 miles without my mp3 player, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.

I also remembered to look down at my Garmin as I hit 13.1 and saw that I was just over 2:24. I was completely flabbergasted. That’s an almost 30 minute PR. I knew I was in much better shape, but that was an amazing feeling. Seeing that number gave me the burst I needed to power up my last hill and finish as strong as possible. Sure my last 5 were way slower than the first 10. Sure, I lost the chafing battle (no low cut shirts for me for a while). Sure I dealt with weird stomach issues for the rest of the day (I wasn’t hungry at all. weird). Didn’t matter. I was so proud of myself for what I had accomplished that it was all worth it. This feeling is why I run.

And that, dear friends, is the saga of my longest run ever. How was your weekend run?

23 Jun
I had a whole post written yesterday about how I have no self control and then I magically lost it. At least it wasn’t my bar outlines? Still, sadface. Hopefully I will be able to resurrect it this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy a super awesome bulletpoint list of my very exciting life [please note the sarcasm].

  • I hate bar studying. Seriously. Hate it. You’d think someone who loves color-coding and flashcards as much as I do would jump at a summer to do nothing but that. You’d be wrong
  • My running has been a little hit or miss lately. I’m getting my miles in, but I’m definitely struggling through some of them. I read somewhere that running performance can tend to decrease the week before your Aunt Flo comes to town. I’m going to chalk it up to that? Yeah, that sounds good.
  • I’ve run more miles this month than any other month since I’ve started logging my miles. Awesome sauce.
  • My diet sucks lately. Not as in “I’m gaining weight,” but more in the “I’m not eating enough and the things I am eating are crappy.” I know this, I just can’t seem to fix it. It’s not necessarily that I don’t have time to go grocery shopping, it’s that I don’t have the inclination. By the time I get home from studying for 10 hours a day, it’s just so much easier to order in or eat a random hodgepodge from my fridge. 
  • I’m casually thinking of joining a running club of some sort. I really like the idea of running with other people and I really like the idea of making friends who are runners but I’m not social enough to just meet random people on a running path and trying to be friends with them. So, if you live in LA and you want to run slowly, I’m your girl.
  • I’m in Week 3 of my training for Long Beach Marathon training. I’m super excited. I would love to try to get a half marathon in at some point this summer [after the bar]. Currently taking suggestions for cheap halves in either SoCal or NYC in August/September.
  • I’m getting sick. Or getting over being sick. I haven’t quite figured it out. Tuesday night I went to bed with sweaty eyes [aka a fever] and a sick feeling in the back of my throat which makes no sense to anyone but myself. Wednesday I woke up with a baby fever and a sore throat. I spent all day yesterday chugging OJ and Theraflu [nectar of the gods] and soup. By last night, my fever was gone so I hopped on the treadmill for 4 easy miles that felt amazing. No fever today, but a little bit of a sore throat still, so I’m becoming best friends with Vitamin C and “doing work” in bed. And by that I clearly mean “watching 4325 episodes of Hoarders.”
What are your favorite sick day activities? Any suggestions for a late summer/early fall half?