Thursday, May 27, 2010

The 3.5 miler that turned into 7

You know those days when you feel like you're on top of the world?  Well that's how I felt today.

This morning I went out to run my 3.5 miler and I felt so in-tune with my body and had my rhythm down that my 3.5 miler turned into a 7 miler.  It was amazing!  It was one of those runs that seems to go so well that you feel like you could run forever.  It was overcast today so it wasn't too hot, however it was quite humid.  Before I even hit mile 1 I felt sticky and a damp...but luckily it was cool so that counter acted it.  I ran down around Marine Stadium then to the beach and the breeze along the water felt so good, it almost cut out the humid feeling completely!
A very short dirt path along Marine Stadium
Running along the bay I cam across some sidewalk art!  There were some very detailed chalk drawings of a skull and bones, some kinds of "leaves" and then these two:
I had to take a picture of LB!  After all, its my hometown!  And I just love Spongebob :)
Then I hit the beach.  I ran along the beach path for a bit until I decided to turn around for the "back" portion of my out-and-back.
Beach bike path
@ mile 6
Haha yes I did try to take a pic of myself running...
I'm a dork :-P
It felt so good to get my rhythm and feel like I could run forever!  I will take that as a good sign with 8 weeks to go until the San Fran 1/2!  When I was training for Surf City in February, my first 1/2 marathon, my longest training run was a 10K...I seemed to have slacked a little bit on getting those longer runs in.  Well this time I am more focused and determined, and hell, if today's spontaneous 7 miler is an indication of how my long runs will go, I feel totally confident in my ability to run SF!
Speaking of SF, I'm heading up to Napa and San Fran for the long holiday weekend with my boyfriend! We have a TON of fun stuff tasting, comedy show, Giants game at the fabulous AT&T park!!!!, and more!  5 days of fun adventures with my love!  It's going to be an awesome Memorial Day weekend!  I also have some runs to get in, and I can't complain about running through the wine country :)
Have a safe and fun-filled holiday weekend!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

6 miles...DONE! + Lakers game 3 + LOST finale!

Today ends week three of training for the San Francisco half marathon and I feel great!
This morning I ran my 6-miler down at the beach.  For the first half of the run, I felt great!  The sun was shining, there was a cool ocean breeze, my legs weren't even close to feeling tired, and my breathing was perfectly rhythmic.  All of a sudden, that cool ocean breeze turned into a monster wind and I found myself running through a bit of a sandstorm.  I ended up heading away from the beach and finished where there was no sand pounding my skin or getting in my ears, nose and mouth.  Despite the wind, I had an awesome run!  I was completely in the zone and feeling so amped up that when my Garmin showed 5.94 I was blown away that I was almost done!  I finished, but felt like I could have kept going!  I already can't wait until my 7-miler next weekend...which will be in Napa!!!
After my run today, I decided to get a much needed mani/pedi.  For anyone who doesn't already know, I am a HUGE Lakers fan...always have been.  So in the spirit of Lakers v. Suns Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals today, I got purple polish with gold polka dots!
Ok, time to get ready for Game 3!!  GO LAKES!!!  IT'S WINNING TIME!!!
Then, it's the LOST series finale!!!  Ahhh I can't wait!!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I AM Running!

This is me:

I saw this at the Aflac Irongirl on Mother's Day and LOVED it!  I thought it was cute because I am not a fast runner fast at all, but I love to run.  I just wanted to share this  :)

This morning I woke up at 4:45 to head out for my 3.5 miler.  It was forecasted to rain around 7/8am, so I figured I would be well on my way to work by then.  So I put on my windbreaker, my capris, and laced up my shoes and headed for an easy run around my neighborhood.  Around mile 1 it started misting, which was actually pretty refreshing.  The air was infused with the scent of night jasmine (one of my favorites!) and it was very crisp out.  Then around mile 2 the drops got bigger and started to come down harder.  The water was getting into my eyes and kept blurring my vision so I decided to cut my run short.  Luckily I was cruising around my neighborhood, so I ran home making my run 1 mile short of the 3.5 I had on the schedule.  I felt great with the 2.5miles I managed to get in.  I kept about a 10min/mile pace (again, remember the turtle above :-P).  When I got home I did 100 crunches, some pushups, and biceps/triceps.  So despite my run being short, I did manage to incorporate some strength training today.

On tomorrow's agenda...SWIMMING!
Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Del Mar Aflac Iron Girl 5K Recap

Last weekend Lisa and I ran the Aflac Iron Girl 5K in Del Mar.  Instead of me writing the recap of our adventures, I asked Lisa if she'd like to write it and she said she'd love to!  So without any further adieu, here is the Del Mar Aflac Iron Girl 5K recap from Lisa....

"So, to preface, I know that Maggie started this blog to chronicle her experiences as a new runner.  I am the absolute definition of a new runner.  Until 4 months ago I had literally never run further than 2 miles (and even that small feat that was accomplished with much gasping, sweating, and walking…).  But when Maggie started writing her blog, I started reading, because I figured, “hey, I can take 2 minutes out of my day to support Maggie’s new physical endeavors”.  What I did not expect was to become inspired.
Maggie’s honesty about her struggles, efforts, and joys in her accomplishments spoke to me so clearly, because she doesn’t sugar coat—she describes running as it is: difficult, tiring, blistering, sometimes nauseating, but with a true sense of VICTORY in accomplishing small goals you probably did not think were possible 6 months ago.
All that to say: Maggie is the reason I started running.  We’ve done training runs together and the Aflac Iron Girl 5k was our 3rd race together.  We signed up for this 5k at the last minute because it looked like fun, and it gave us an excuse to get out of town for a little trip.  Not to mention the fact that it was scheduled at the end of week 1 of our 12 week training plan for our San Francisco half marathon and we are trying to get in as many miles as possible before then.
So Friday afternoon we got off work and cruised down the 405 to San Diego.  We had some animal fries along the way and drank about 2 liters of water apiece—those animal fries are salty… J  When we got to SD, we checked into our hotel and basically went straight to bed.  I know—we’re boring—but we DID have to get up EARLY for our 7:50 race.
When we got up at 5:30 the next morning, I put on my trusty Brooks Defyance running shoes, slapped some Body Glide on my feet to prevent blisters (thanks Magz), and headed out the door.  We walked across the street to the Del Mar fairgrounds and waited in line for our packets.  The fairgrounds were a sea of PINK (except me… I was wearing blue… I apparently didn’t get the memo that at an all girl race you’re supposed to wear pink. Hee hee J).  There were women EVERYwhere, and the area was PACKED.  We got our packets, and then our shirts, and then our free Aflac stuffed duck! Once we’d gotten all of our free stuff and put our gear in the gear check it was time to GO! 
We lined up in the (very pushy) crowd behind the starting line and got ready for the start of the race.  At the sound of the gun, we were off!!!  Sort of… There were so many people in the cattle chute behind the start that it took a good .25 mile or so to actually get going at a good pace. 
We trekked out at about a 10:30 pace and breezed through mile 1—there was a water station right before each mile marker, so no one was feeling dehydrated.  As we cruised, I looked around at all of the other women in this race.  There were cancer survivors, people running to honor others, mother/daughter teams, and we even saw a few women running with prosthetic legs—it was so inspiring to see them pushing through and succeeding (and doing it faster than me!).  Mile two went by without a hitch, and as we ran, we started to see all of the fastest runners from the 10k coming back toward the finish line, and everyone was super encouraging: clapping and cheering them on toward the finish!
Around mile 3 I started to get a little tired, and I realized that my running shoes that I loved so much… were too small.  They were rubbing on my toes and my right foot started to go numb.  I pushed through and tried to stretch out my toes but it didn’t help.  But at least they were numb rather than painful!  It was at that point that I also started feeling the old shin splints that had been plaguing me on and off for a week or so.  So Maggie and I toned down the pace a bit and prepared for the big hill before the last turnaround. 
We took the hill at about a 12:00 pace and took our time, but once we hit that turnaround, we were FLYING. We hit the last .5 mile with everything we had, making it down to about an 8:00 pace!  By then, we were seeing the home stretch: the finish line was in sight! Maggie and I looked at each other, and took off at a dead sprint. We crossed the finish line within 3 seconds of each other: our official times were me: 34:29 and Magz: 34:32.  Not the fastest times in the world, but the time wasn’t super important to either of us.
After the race we started to get bombarded with free goodies! Aflac, the sponsor, provided free cold sponges to dab off our sweaty faces, they gave us each a flower, we each snagged a finisher’s medal, and both of us got a couple bottles of water and a bottle of muscle milk (which was nasty…).  Then we made our way over to check out all of the sponsor kiosks, where we got tons of free foot scrub, sports drinks, little snacky things, etc.  And after all that—we got a free breakfast from Aflac, to be enjoyed in the beautiful Del Mar Fairgrounds courtyard!  The setting really was picturesque.  We took a few pictures, and Maggie got ogled by EVERYONE because of the super cute pink team sparkle skirt she was wearing.  Seriously—she got probably 20 compliments!
In conclusion—it was a great experience, a great race, and a TON of fun! Not to mention a wonderful way to end week one of our SF training schedule… Now the only challenge will be getting through weeks 2-12…"

I have to confess, when I first read it I got very misty eyed in the beginning.  Thank you Lisa for your incredibly kind words, and for writing this fabulous recap!  Here are some pictures from the Irongirl 5K:
Me and Lisa pre-race
Lining up in the sea of women
@ the finish line!  We even got flowers!
And of course with the proud sponsor...Mr. Aflac Duck himself!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oh What a Wonderful Weekend

This past weekend was such a terrific weekend!  I ran a 5K race down in Del Mar with Lisa on Saturday, which was so much fun!  She is actually going to write the recap which will be posted on my blog later this week!!
The weather was gorgeous…sunny, warm between 75-80 degrees, bright blue skies without a cloud to be seen.  My little bro surprised my mom and came home for the weekend from college, so we hung out Saturday after I got back from Del Mar.  We cruised down to 2nd street to watch the very intense Game 3 of the Lakers v. Jazz series.  We down almost the entire game…they were on fire and we were ice cold.  Finally Fisher and Artest were making money shots, sinking 3 after 3 after 3 (Ron made 4 out of 5 in a row!) and Fish sank a deep 3-pointer that was clutch from 2-3 feet behind the line!  The Jazz had a chance to win but missed the shot, and we won by the one point!  Needless to say, we were on the edge of our seats.
Sunday, we cooked mom breakfast in bed and relaxed, then I went for a 2.5 mile run.  My legs were so heavy they felt like they were either made of steel or stuck in mud.  Unfortunately, Sunday didn’t bring nearly as nice weather as Saturday, and during my run it was humid, overcast, and the wind picked up and I was running right into it.  I felt blah.  After my not-so-great run, I got ready and my Dad, bro, and I took Mom and Grammie out to a Mother’s Day dinner overlooking the ocean. By this time, the clouds had dissipated and the sun graced us with its presence.  We had a blast and laughed all evening long.  Mom and Grammie loved their presents too :)  It was a wonderful Mother’s Day and I am so blessed to have such a wonderful and inspiring mother and grandmother.

This morning I had the hardest time getting to work. Apparently there was a shooting at the crack of dawn this morning on Ocean and Pine, so the police had many of the streets blocked off in attempts to find the murderer.  Of course the streets that were blocked off were all leading towards my building, so I ended up parking far away and walking in.  Well, there’s a little cardio for you…running to work in heels.
As for training, today was a stretch and strengthen day.  After work I lifted weights and worked out my core.  A 3-miler is on the schedule for tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Francisco Half Marathon Training Plan

Training has officially begun!
Yesterday I started my 12 week training plan for the San Francisco Half Marathon, which is on July 25th.  I'm very excited because I'm training with my best friend Lisa, who is also running it (it will be her first HM!)
When I put together my training plan, I wanted to incorporate strength exercises, stretching (something I probably do too little of), swimming, and of course logging those miles!  So here is the breakdown:
Mondays:  strength* + stretching
Tuesdays:  easy runs
Wednesdays:  swimming
Thursdays:  runs + strength*
Fridays:  rest
Saturdays:  alternating swimming + hills (must be prepared for those SF hills!)
Sundays:  long runs
As far as strength goes, I have workouts targeting my biceps, triceps, core, hamstrings, and calves.
So without further ado, here is my lovely SF Half training plan:
I am really going to try to hold myself accountable this training season.  I know there will be days where I have to work late, and I might have to switch a day, but that's ok.  Flexibility is key.  But the beauty of training with a friend is that we will hold each other accountable for the day's workout and keep each other focused.
This morning I logged the three miles for day 2 and felt pretty good!  Get ready I come!