Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surf City 1/2 & LA Color Run 5K This Weekend!

This Sunday I'm running the Surf City 1/2 Marathon for my third time!  I'm running it as a training run for the LA Marathon in March, which is only 47 days away!  Weeeeeeeee!!!

This morning I ran for the first time in a week after discovering I have shin splints.  I spent the past week resting, icing, wrapping, elevating, stretching, and this morning when I hit the pavement my shins felt much better.  I did 45 minutes of intervals at race pace, and I feel much more confident (I was worried that not running for a week would hurt my training...it didn't, phew).  I was able to get a 22 mile bike ride in over the weekend though, which I'm sure helped.  I'm going to run tomorrow and Thursday, and continue icing, and I hope I'll be A-OK for Sunday!

Another fun thing that's happening this weekend is the LA Color Run!  For Christmas, our friends D&L registered me and my hubs for the Color Run.  I did the OC Color Run with my cousin last year and we had a blast!  Since Lisa and I are both running Surf City on Sunday, we're going to take it easy and walk/jog the 5K as a fun double date with our hubbies!

I'm looking forward to this fun-filled & race-filled Super Bowl Weekend!!!  What are your Super Bowl Weekend plans??

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shin Splints

Last week I started feeling pain in the anterior side of my right shin.  It started as an ache, then I would feel sharp pains that would cause my leg to buckle.  I was afraid they were shin splints, and after researching it a bit more, the arrows pointed to exactly that.  So after my long run on Saturday I took it easy and rested until my workout on Tuesday.  The rest helped, but after a few intervals on Tuesday, the pains were back.

The next day I ended up going to my doctor, and he said it’s definitely shin splints.  I told him there is no way in hell I’m going to not run this marathon…this marathon means everything to me and I’m proud I can run my first marathon for MDS in Mom’s memory.  My doc knew my mom well and he understood, so he said to rest a couple days and then before I run to put a heat pack on for 20 minutes.  Then post-run to stretch and ice it.

I’ve been resting and icing for two days now and already it feels better.  I’ll get a sharp ache every now and then, but I definitely feel better.  I have a 3 hour run planned for tomorrow (approx. 14-15 miles) and I’m not yet sure if I’m going to A)run the whole thing, B)run part of it, C)cross train (cycling) or D)rest completely.  Surf City is one week from Sunday, and I want to be healthy for that.  Then it’s just 40 days until the LA Marathon!!!

Have you ever had shin splints?  What did you do? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Breakfast at Tiffany's MBA Grad Party!

This weekend my incredible cousin threw me a spectacular graduation party!

This past December, I completed my Masters program and earned my Masters in Business Administration from Chapman University.  (Cross #7 off my list!)  It took me 2 and a half years while working full time, planning a wedding then being a newlywed, maintaining some kind of running/workout schedule, raising two puppies, and losing my Grammie and my Mom.  When I think about it, I don't know how I did it!  I do know that I couldn't have done it without the support of my family and friends, especially after losing Mom.  She knew I was graduating in December, and that makes me happy.  She would be SO PROUD!  Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the gift of education, the greatest gift of all.  I love you both!!

My cousin is so amazing that she offered to throw me a graduation party, and not only was it any kind of grad party, but it was a *Breakfast at Tiffany's* themed party!!!!  Audrey Hepburn is my idol, and Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday are two of my all-time favorite movies.  Needless to say, I was elated about this idea, and I was going to dress up as Holly Golightly (I even have a replica tiara from the movie...told ya...I love Audrey!)

My cousin wouldn't tell me anything more than the theme, so I was blown away to show up on Saturday to the most incredible {Tiffany-blue} decorated party ever!  There were blue and white balloons, Tiffany-blue tulle around the table, the coffee table wrapped like a giant Tiffany's box, pearls flowing out of Tiffany-blue vases on every table, crystals, and the most exquisite cake I've ever seen that my cousin herself made (she is so dang talented)!  And on top of all that, my cousin's daughter painted me a beautiful canvas of Audrey as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's!

Here are some picture collages from the spectacular evening:

Thank you to my cousins for throwing me the most spectacular and memorable grad party!!  I love you so much!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My VO2 Max Test

This past Sunday I got to do my first VO2 max test! I was so excited to get some real numbers on my body such as heart rate levels for aerobic, anaerobic, lactate threshold, as well as my VO2 max, which is basically how much oxygen my body consumes. I was curious how it was going to feel to run with an oxygen mask on my face, but I knew the workout was only going to be 10-15 minutes, or however long it took the computer to collect my numbers.

My coach put my oxygen mask on my face and connected the tube to some high-tech gadget that was connected to a computer. The mask felt heavy and awkward, and all I was thinking was “Good thing I’m not claustrophobic!” I started with a light walk, then about every minute or two, my coach increased the speed. Then he started to combine inclines with the speed increases. The mask was getting heavier and heavier, and it felt like it was pinching my nose. Around 9 minutes I was sprinting and it felt harder and harder to breath in the mask which was frustrating. At minute 10, I was done. In hindsight I could have pushed myself to run faster, but being my first time, I was ready to take the mask off.
So what were my numbers and what do they mean?
Aerobic threshold heart rate (burning fat; easy pace): 140-150
Based on the calculation I was using prior to this (180 minus age), I was at 154. So my actual aerobic threshold was slightly lower than I had expected, and this means I will be running at a slower pace to maintain that heart rate. My coach reassured me that I will improve and I will get faster, especially with speed work.

Anaerobic threshold heart rate (burning sugar): 160-180

VO2 max: 40.0, which means that 40.0 millimeters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute is consumed. For a woman of my age, this falls into the “EXCELLENT” Fitness Level! I am pretty stoked about this!
I’m thrilled I have my actual numbers now. Here are my workouts and the corresponding heart rates:
     Long base runs: 140-150
     Speed work: 180 peak and 130 recovery
     Lactate tolerance training: 165 peak and 150 recovery
     Active recovery: 130
I'm so happy I did the test because I can really fine tune my training and run more efficiently. I know these numbers will improve with more training, and I look forward to seeing those improvements when I take another VO2 max test next year.

Friday, January 11, 2013

VO2 Max Test This Weekend!

I am so excited! This Sunday I have my first VO2 max test!! This is a test that measures the maximum capacity of an individual’s body is to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise.

I will be on a treadmill wearing an oxygen mask and heart rate monitor. I will start walking and gradually increase to an all-out sprint until I am completely gassed. The oxygen mask and heart rate monitor are linked to a computer that measures all my levels during the test. I will learn what my true aerobic heart rate is (burning fat), my lactate threshold, my anaerobic level (burning sugar instead of fat), and more.
The past few months I have been training using a simple calc to determine my target aerobic heart rate (180 minus my age). This test will tell me my true numbers. I’m so pumped!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Great Training Week + a 13-mile PR!

Last week was a pretty awesome week of training for me. I kicked it off on Sunday, December 30 with my last run of the year: a 2 hour long run. The most amazing part of this run was that I ran the entire 2 hours without a single walk break! In the past during long runs, I’d have to scatter a few couple-minute walk breaks in. Not this time! I ran consistently the entire 2 hours and logged just over 9 miles. I felt great!
I kicked off 2013 with a solid one hour run on January 1st. It was so refreshing to get out there. I did see a lot of new faces in my neighborhood (new year’s resolutions perhaps?).

On Thursday, January 3rd my coach kicked my butt with 800s at the track. This was my first time doing 800s and man oh man are they hard! After the 4th one I was exhausted!! Luckily I only had 6 sets, but holding a faster-than-normal pace for 800 meters is no small feat. But I got them done! Needless to say, I was a little sore the next day and I loved it!

And finally, on Saturday January 5th, I ran 13 miles through 3 cities! I completed my 13 miler in 2:48 which was a PR for me {and no walk breaks!}. I tried a new gel called Accel Gel {vanilla flavored} and it was delicious! I took two of them during my run and they gave me the energy I needed to finish my run feeling great!
It was a great training week for me, and I know the coming weeks will only get better! 69 days until the LA Marathon!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013!!
Last night I rang in the New Year the best way I know how...surrounded by my family. We gathered at my cousin's house for delicious food, some beverages, Scattegories and pong, and lots of laughter!  It was perfect.
NYE with my family :)

Happy New Years from us!!

Cheers to a marvelous 2013 filled with lots of love, laughter, and many blessings!