Thursday, February 25, 2010

Back @ it + Vegas here I come!!

I’m back to my mornings runs!
For some reason the past week I had the most difficult time waking up to the point where I didn’t even hear my alarm go off at 5am.  Today, everything fell back into place.  I woke up to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” on my phone at 5:00 in the morning and was so excited that I actually woke up!  I’m back!
I laced up my new Adidas Supernovas that I bought last week (I’m so happy to be back in Adidas…I LOVE them…they are like running on clouds!), put on my running shorts and a long sleeve and headed out the door. It rained last night so the air was fresh and crisp.  I could still smell the night jasmine which is one of my favorite scents, as well as the smell of the wet pavement (which I like and even find slightly comforting!)
I only ran 2.5 miles, but I felt great!
I’m taking tomorrow off work and going to Vegas!!!!  I can’t wait!!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

15 Minutes of Solitude + Saturday Activities :)

Today is the first day of Lent.  I am not a religious person, but I do practice Lent by either giving up something or taking on something to better myself. In past years I’ve given up the cliché things like junk food, alcohol, instant messaging (when it was big), and taken on things like working out every day except Sunday.  I started thinking about it over the weekend and I thought I could give up online shopping or cursing, but those don’t seem like too much of a challenge.  I don’t drink soda and I just got off a 4 month vegetarian stint so those are out of the question.  I then thought to give up any means of electronics while running.  No music, no Garmin, nothing. I was talking about it with my boyfriend and he said I should NOT do that because he knows how much music inspires me when I run and he doesn’t think I should do anything to disrupt my fledgling routine of running and all the progress I’ve made in the past few months.  I completely agree.

So on that note of silence and reflection without electronics, instead of taking it out of something such as running, I’ve decided to incorporate it into my everyday routine for the next 40 days.  Every day I will spend at least 15 minutes without my cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, and without talking.  It will be my meditation -- a time for thought, prayer, and reflection.  I will delve beyond my thoughts into a deeper state of relaxation and awareness and reflect. In doing this, I hope to achieve greater focus, creativity, and self-awareness, as well as having a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind.
I am very excited about this and I know it will improve my running performance as well as my overall being.

In addition to my 15 minutes of daily solitude, my boyfriend and I are going to spend a few hours each Saturday for a fun physical activity such as hiking, kayaking, running, etc.  Here are a couple of fun things we’ve done in the past:
Hiking to the waterfalls in Maui, Hawaii (we even climbed a Banyan tree!)
Snorkeling in Hawaii
Indoor skydiving
Mud Run
Bike rides

We have some pretty fun activities lined up that I’m excited to share with you!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Surf City Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend I ran my first half marathon:  Surf City!
It was so much fun and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  The sun was shining and it was a perfect day along the beautiful beach course.
I didn’t want to set any timed goals for myself with this being my first half marathon.  Especially because I have only been running for a few months.  I didn’t know how my body would handle 13.1 miles, and mentally I had no idea what to expect!  So my only goal was to finish.  And I did!  GOAL:  ACCOMPLISHED!

Before I dive into my recap, here are my official stats:

My Garmin time for 13.11 miles: 
Tag time: 
Gun time: 
10034 out of 11799
6060 out of 7526
F 18-24: 
461 out of 533

I know I am by no means fast.  I know some people can run a full marathon in the time it took me to complete half.  But I am so happy I signed up for it and that I finished it!  I had a blast and there is only room for improvement in my future.  I now know what it is like mentally and physically to tackle 13.1 miles and so I can prepare better and train harder for the next (San Fran!!!)!

No on to my recap!..

Saturday morning my cousin, her baby, and I went to the expo to pick up our race packets.  It had stopped raining but there were puddles and water everywhere.  As we walked up to the tent we saw the mile markers lined up and we had to take a picture with Mile 13!

Me, my cousin, and her son
Inside the tent it was hot, muggy, and smelled funky.  We quickly picked up our bibs and timer chips, our technical tees, and the cute bags they were giving out, then took a quick look around and bailed.  I got home and my baby bro had come home from college for my race!  I was pumped!  That my brother, boyfriend and I had pizza and watched the Lakers play the Trailblazers.  After my fill of delicious pizza, I wanted to get everything ready for race day.  I laid out my race outfit which consisted of my blue and white Nike tank, black Zensah long sleeve (I knew I could take it off and tie around my waist if I got warm during the race, which I did), my pink Zensah sports bra, my favorite Nike running shorts, and my socks.  I put my timing chip on my shoe, laid out my bib, put my Clif Shot Blocks in my pouch, charged my iPod and my Garmin.  Oh, and Vaseline to prevent blisters!
It took me a while to fall asleep, but once I did I slept like a baby.  My alarm went off at 4:30am and I made a boiled egg and toast with peanut butter and got dressed.  Ninja!
Bright and cheery at 4:30am
I drove to my cousins and we got dropped off at the race with my cousin’s friend Lisa.  It was unbelievable how many people there were.  We had some extra time so we decided to hit the porta-potties before lining up in our corral, and of course snap some beach shots.
Me, my cousin Rachel, and Lisa
Lisa, Rach, and me
Huntington Beach
We were planning on lining up with wave 4, but there were so many people that we just kind of squeezed in.
Trying to find our wave amongst the crowd
Out of 20K participants I ran into my friend Elisa, who was also running the half!  I had no idea she was running it.  It was her first half marathon too and we ended up running the first 2 miles together.

Me and Elisa
And so it began!  I started at a slow easy pace of 12:00-12:30 and it felt good.  Miles 1-3 were nice and easy and on a flat part of Pacific Coast Highway.  They seemed to fly by.
At mile 4 we turned into a residential area and I took some water before running up the hill.  It was so clear out that you could see the snow-capped mountains to the north.  Up the hill I went, still feeling good.
Running up the hill at mile 4
After running up the hill, mile 5 was downhill.  I could see all the runners in front of me snaking along the path with the ocean in the background.  It was very exciting to see.
Downhill at mile 5
I took a little more water and a couple Clif Shot Blocks at the bottom of the hill before turning back onto PCH for the long out and back portion of the course.  Miles 1-5:  DONE!  I thought “Wow, I’m almost half way there and I still feel great!  Time to pick up the pace more!”  Well, that must have been the thought that jinxed me.  Around mile 6.5 I started to get a side cramp.  I tried running through it, but that only made it worse.  I started walking while stretching it out and focused on my breathing.  I ended up walking for about a mile until the pain finally subsided.  Then around mile 8 we turned around to begin the run to the finish line.  I was running a 12:00ish pace, keeping it nice and easy and making sure my cramp didn’t come back.  It didn’t!  Unfortunately around mile 9, though, my hip decided it wanted to ache.  I’ve never had a hip pain before so this was a new feeling.  It was a mix of soreness/stiffness/burning.  Weird.  So I listened to my body and started walking while stretching it out and trying to rub the pain away.  The pain would go away but after a bit of running it would come back.  So my miles 9-11 were a combo of running and walking depending on the soreness I was feeling.  It was so beautiful out that I didn’t mind the running/walking.  The sun was shining, the waves were crashing, the ocean was sparkling, and there was a sweet ocean breeze.
 The "back" part of the long out-and-back
I knew mile 12 was approaching so I picked up the pace.  I was cruising and around the 12-mile marker I saw my parents!  They were cheering for me, waving, screaming, and taking pictures!  It made me so happy and completely fired me up!  Mile 12 seemed like it took longer to run than the other miles though.  At one point I thought I actually missed the 13-mile marker!  I checked my Garmin and mile 13 was approaching.  After 13 there was only .1 mile to go.  I was almost there.  At mile 12.8 I stepped it up.  No scratch that.  I kicked it into full gear!  And by full gear I mean a 5:00 pace!!!  I supposed with my running/walking I had some energy stored in the tank.  I gave it my all and sprinted past the 13-mile marker and blazed through the finish line!!!  As I tried to catch my breath I heard “MAGGIE MAGGIE MAGGIE!!!!!”  I looked to my left and my brother and my boyfriend were hanging over the fence (which was only 3 feet away) with the biggest smiles on their faces screaming for me!  I went over to them then got my medal, space blanket, a snack bag, and water.  I walked along side baby bro and Sean until there was an opening in the fence then they attacked me with huge hugs!
My baby bro, me, and my boyfriend
I did it!!!  I love my medal, and I have to say, the space blanket is pretty cool!
The three of us hung out for a while before Sean and I headed to the beer garden.  My bro isn’t 21 yet so he couldn’t get in.  One more month and he will be though!  So we waited in the line and I stretched and tried to eat a banana to settle my tummy.  I was not hungry at all, but knew I had to eat something.  

Me and my love in line at the Beer Garden
Me, my love, my medal, and TUPAC!
By the time we got our Michelob Ultra (runners get 2 free beers…SCORE!) my stomach was good to go.  Sean and I found a spot to sit and I wasn’t sure if beer would even taste good at that moment, but hey, it was free!  I took a sip and surprisingly, ice cold beer had never tasted so good!!

In the Michelob Ultra Beer Garden
 We met up with my cousin again and headed home.  When Sean and I got home I iced my legs and relaxed for a while before showering.  I snuck in a nap before everyone came over for the Super Bowl.
We did it!
This day was so amazing!  I was on cloud nine!  I completed my first half marathon!  Yea I didn’t have the best time, but whatever!  I finished and that’s all I wanted!  Woo hoo!!!  I had so much fun and that’s all that matters.  Up next, San Francisco 1/2 in July (with some little races thrown in here and there until then)!!!  And I just found out my best friend Lisa who ran the Santa 5K with me last year is going to run SF with me!!!  Woo hooo!!!!!


Friday, February 5, 2010

13.1 Miles of Dedication

On Sunday morning, February 7, 2010, I will run my very first half marathon – Surf City.

I consider myself a novice runner since I only started running last August. If you had asked me a year ago if I could run more than 2 or 3 miles I would have said no. Heck I could barely run that without needed a break. I have always been athletic…I played soccer for 13 years, then in college I would go to the gym solely to stay in shape. I was by no means a ‘runner.’
If you had asked me a year ago if I thought I would be running a half marathon in 2010 I would have looked at you and burst out laughing. That’s a big fat NO!
Well, here I am, about to embark on my very first half marathon, 13.1 miles. My journey to 13.1 has been tough, hard, exhilarating, inspiring, addicting, and most importantly, it’s been fun! I would not have been able to tackle this without the unconditional love, support, and inspiration from so many people in my life.
And so I am dedicating each mile of my first half marathon to those who have encouraged me, inspired me, and pushed me to keep going even when I wanted so badly to stop.
I love you all so much!

So here it is:
Mile 1. My cousin Rachel for inspiring me to sign up for this race.
Mile 2. Coach M for going over my training plan and tailoring it for me, and for giving me sage running advice.
Mile 3. My boyfriend for constant encouragement and support in everything I do. You are my rock babe! (3 is his fav number)  I love you!!
Mile 4. Myself for sticking with it even when it's hard. For reaching my running goals which I never thought I could do one year ago. (4 is my fav number so this mile is all mine!)
Mile 5. My brother for running my first 5K with me and for being a great pacer until I told him to just go for it! (He’s much faster, and taller, than me and I was probably just slowing him down hehe). He's a great workout partner, more like my personal trainer, and he pushes me to my best! Thanks baby bro!
Mile 6. My cousins for also running my first 5K with me and believing in me that I CAN run a distance longer than 3 miles! Haha.
Mile 7. Lisa, one of my best friends, for running my second 5K with me. It was her first and we ran in costumes!  She’s amazing. You are a terrific friend.

Mile 8. Kelly for being Kelly :) Kelso, you better run San Fran with me in July!!!
Mile 9. Sunny for her "Run Maggie Run" motivation!
Mile 10. Music – I love listening to music whether it’s in my car on my way to work or when I’m out for a run. I have a hard time running without music (San Diego 10K was awful without it!). Good beats get me pumped up and keep me motivated, and I have an awesome playlist for Surf City that I can't wait to run too!! I <3 music.
Mile 11. My Grammie – she’s my namesake and role model, plain and simple.  I love you <3
Mile 12. Koko who is my oldest and dearest friend. She is an incredible runner and is a constant inspiration for me in running and in life. Love you Kokz!! Thanks for all the amazing tips!!! You’re the best!!  I can't wait to cheer you on at the LA Marathon in March!!!
Mile 13. My boyfriend’s parents for clipping running articles out of newspapers and magazines for me.
Mile .1. My parents – This is the most important part of the half because if you don't run the last .1 mile you don't complete the half. My parents are my support system who inspire me to do incredible things. They are there for me every step of the way no matter what. I love you mom and dad!!
Please remember that this race only has 13.1 miles, and so I only mentioning 14 people. For those of you I did not mention, please know that you are equally important to me and I will be thinking of you the entire run!
T-minus 2 days! Tonight my boyfriend is taking me for an early surprise Valentine’s Day Date!! I’m so excited!!! Then tomorrow I’m going to the race expo with Rachel to pick up our race packets and get lots of goodies! Then Sunday is race day!! Woo hoo!!!!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Surf City here I come...ready or not!!!!

These past two weeks have definitely been a challenge for me.  First week of my terrible twos was Long Beach's dreadful storm.  As you can see from my previous post, we had torrential downpours, lightning, thunder, waterspouts, and tornados.  Definitely detrimental weather for outdoor training.  Thus my training was kept to a very minimum, and I only got in two of my workouts that week.

Last week I was in NYC, my second home, for business.  I went to college in New York and there lived the entire four years...NY has a significant piece of my heart.  So it's super amazing to travel there for business because on top of work I get to see all my friends and roomies in NY!  So last week was SUPER busy with our Investor Day, so from the time I arrived after flying on the red eye Monday night-Tuesday morning, it was straight to work.  I had a two hour window and went to the gym at my hotel, then back to work.  I went out with a friend that night, then Wednesday morning was back at it at 7am (4am my time since I had not adjusted yet!) and was nonstop until 6pm.  Then I went out for drinks with my execs, followed by dinner with some amazing friends <3  Of course Thursday morning I had to wake up with the worst head cold.  I seriously could not breathe out of my nose, I was coughing, had a headache...the entire works.  Not pretty.  Luckily I was flying home Friday, but I had dinner plans with some more friends Thursday night.  I finally made it out of bed to get to Duane Reade (NY CVS basically) to get some Dayquil, Nyquil, and sudafed for my early morning flight so my eardrums wouldn't burst with the altitude.  Needless to say, I did not get my workout in.

I barely made my flight the next morning and after a horrible 6 AND A HALF HOUR (yes, 6.5 hour)  flight, I made it back to Long Beach.  We were going against strong headwinds, hence the super long time.  Usually it's like 5-5.5 hours.  Anyways, I was in bed all weekend long.  I felt okay to go to work on Monday but not well enough to run.  At this point, Surf City was less than a week away.  CRAP!!!  After a great nights rest, I woke up Tuesday feeling great!  I didn't have enough time to workout in the morning before work, so I planned to change at work and head straight for the gym, no turning back.

I got to the gym last night and had an AMAZING workout.  I was only planning on running 2 miles because it had been a while, but I ended running 4!!  And this is my favorite part...not only did I run 4 miles, but I ran them *absolutely effortlessly*!!!  First time ever!  I felt so good.  I was on an incline of 1.5 since I was on the tready, and I was testing out my mix for Surf City Half on Sunday totally rocking out, and I finally looked at my mileage and realized I was 2mi over what I planned on running!  WIN!!!  So I cooled down, then proceeded to my strength training and core.

I felt so good!  It was definitely the workout that gave me the sense of fortitude and accomplishment that I needed when I was feeling so not ready because of the past two weeks.  It was the little boost of confidence I needed to amp me up to finish Surf City.  Mind you I say "FINISH".  I am not setting a goal time for myself.  No.  This is my first half and my only goal is to finish it.  That's all, and I am okay with that.

Surf City = 4 days away.  Am I ready?  Not as ready as I hoped.  But I am more excited than ever!!!!!!!!!!!!