Running, Training

2016 Race Bucket List

As 2016 begins, I have started thinking about a race bucket list.  In a world where I stayed injury free and my schedule allowed I would be able to do all of the races I’ve had my eyes on. Who knows, I doubt I’ll get to all of them this year, but there are a few races I’ve had my eyes on!

2016 running race bucket list

The Carlsbad Half Marathon
I’ve heard this race is scenic and beautiful.  I was born in San Diego, and I’ve been dying to go back.  The half looks much flatter than the full marathon, plus San Diego weather beats the East Coast.

The Shamrock half marathon
2016 will (hopefully) be my fifth year running Shamrock.  I love the race series, and J&A does an excellent job putting the race together.  I recommend it to anyone!

It’s a flat, fast and crowd supported course and I would like to better my best Shamrock time of 1:25.14, if not just flat out PR.

At least I look jazzy right?
From last year

Shamrock Legacy: 
Year 1: 1:33.30
Year 2: 1:25.14
Year 3: 1:25.29
Year 4: 1:33:06 (two weeks post marathon and having hamstring/hip issues)

The April Fools half
The April Fools half marathon is where I set my PR 1.5 years ago.  The Atlantic City Race directors do an incredible job.  For being in such a large city, I love how low key the race is.  Plus it’s in a decent time of the year, and the only thing to worry about is how windy it is.

Air force half OR full
It scares me to put potentially another full marathon on the calendar. The fall is a very long time away.  My training has been going well, and if I can remain injury free, I would like to run either the Air Force half or full this year.  I’ve run two marathons and not enjoyed either but maybe the third time is a charm…or maybe not.

But hopefully I'll be more prepared than this if I choose that route.
But hopefully I’ll be more prepared than this if I choose that route.

I won’t run another full marathon until I have not only Pred in my shorter distances but am satisfied with my progress. Marathons are always there, and there is no reason to sign up until I’m ready to run another one.

Those are just a few races that come to mind.  I do plan to fill my schedule with plenty of 5ks, 10ks and halves, but these are a few I’ve had my eyes on!

There will be many races I’ll train and race untapered as a workout, and there are many races I’ll run after tapering and resting.

Questions for you:
Do you have a race bucket list? 
What is your all time favorite race?

Articles, Reads

New Year Equals New Me

This isn’t the typical New Year’s Resolution post declaring my New Years Resolutions.

This also isn’t the post to say I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. I do have New Years Resolutions, but that is for another post. 

Start on January 1

I’m actually indifferent towards people who want to begin a new life journey or goal on January 1st.  Honestly, I’m excited for anyone to make positive changes in their life.  Every year I hear friends declare they are going to go to the gym more.  They plan to do X, Y, and Z.  That’s exciting, and I’m happy for everyone, no matter what their goals are.

Sadly, I also hear other friends publically wish resolutioners would get out of the gym or out of their way.Sure, having more people at the gym can be an inconvenience because there are fewer machines available.

The reality is everyone at the gym is paying for the same membership.  No one is more entitled to a piece of equipment because you have been a member for one day or 1000. If a person “getting in your way” annoys you, purchase your own damn gym equipment and stay at home.

Every year on January 1st many people begin a journey to better themselves.  New Year’s Resolutions include anything from fitness goals to life goals, work goals or even chasing your dreams.

The majority of the population makes a resolution or goal to achieve in the new year.  According to studies, only 8% of people keep with their New Year’s resolutions.  The facts are that is still 8% more than last year.

While people make many different resolutions, this post is focused more on the fitness and gym related goals.

This post is about the people who join a gym each year to achieve their goals.

This post is about the people judging those that are new to fitness programs.

Each year I see my “in shape” or fitness oriented friends complain about their gyms being crowded.  I have even seen posts about how dumb having a New Years Resolution is.  I’ve seen everything from posts about how silly new people look at the gym to even taking hidden photos of someone trying to workout.

Please remember that if someone has not given you permission to include their photo on your blog or social media, you shouldn’t.  It is never appropriate to take a picture of someone without their permission, especially to make fun of them.  Take a step back and realize how upset you would be if you found out someone was publically shaming you for trying something new. 

Here are just a few complaints about resolutioners at the gym I’ve seen:

The gym is crowded. No space for me! (sad emojis)

Someone took my elliptical (or any piece of gym equipment).

I hate how busy it is; I hope these people leave soon.

These people are wasting their time. (You are wasting your time complaining)

Those statements are rude and it’s even ruder to post.  Every single person from an elite marathoner to a star quarterback started their fitness journey somewhere.

Who knows where someone started, maybe it was with a New Years Resolution?

Judging someone based on their fitness level is both pathetic and sad.  When people first begin something, they are the most self-conscious.  New people (anywhere) fear being judged the most. It reminds me of people that won’t follow someone on twitter or facebook because they have five followers. It’s superficial.

I can remember the first time I went to the gym.  I was 18 years old, and I was nervous the rest of the patrons were judging me.  I tried every machine in the fitness center in 10 minutes.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Slowly but surely I found things that worked for me.  The first few months I was hyperaware of everything and everyone.  To be honest, I would still be mortified if I found out someone was publically shaming me at the gym!

Was that person laughing?  Must be at me…

Are those people chatting? They must be chatting about me…

So as you ring in the New Years, remember that a New Years resolution might not be your thing but some people are trying to better themselves.  Sure, some people might fall off the wagon, but many people will succeed.

I encourage you to think about when you were first beginning your fitness journey.  Do not be upset with others for attempting to begin their fitness journeys or using a machine typically in your routine.

Question for you: When did you start your fitness journey?


Hair of the Dog 5k (19:59)

After running the Beat the Ball 5k race 11 hours before the start of this race, I had no idea how my second 5k would go.  I have done this combination of races twice before (2012 and 2013) but I wasn’t getting over an injury in either case.  I told myself if anything hurt I would stop.  Spoiler alert: Nothing hurt or felt off so I continued with the races.

I only got 6 hours of sleep between both races. Some people can run well on little sleep, I’m not one of them (hashtag sleep princess).  Dad and I woke up around 8 am and headed to Mount Trashmore.

For 5ks, I like to warm up between 2-2.5 miles and that is exactly what I did.  There was nothing exciting about the warm up. I felt awful and exhausted (As I said yesterday when I feel awful, I race well…somehow I knew this wouldn’t be the case). After I warmed up, I put on my racing flats and headed to the start. I made it with only a few minutes to spare.

Photos from HIIT-Pics. 

At the starting line I noticed how deep the field was.  There were many extremely talented woman such as Renee, Kris, Kellie (and a few more that I recognized faces but don’t know names!).

I thought to myself, “lololololol let me go ahead and stand back here”.  There were many incredible woman racing Hair of the Dog, I could fan girl them all.  There were also many incredible men racing too.

hair of the dog 1

The race started and we were off.  The first mile was fast.  All of the leaders immediately left me.  Within a half mile, I saw the pack of five 5 woman way ahead.  The depth of the field pulled me along and I felt amazing the first mile.   I’m sure the first mile was a mixture of delusion, caffeine and adrenaline.  I ran the first mile in 6:11 and it felt like old injury free times sake.

Until mile 2, when I promptly fell apart. For the second mile, we headed around the Mount Trashmore Lake.  The field had separated and I was essentially running alone most of the time. There were a couple of men around me but not that close. I could see the female leaders break their pack and they were each running alone as well.   As we continued around the Mount Trashmore lake, the wind became worse and worse.  My legs felt exhausted.  I hit mile 2 in 6:27 and I knew I was fading quickly.  I knew this was going to be a positive split 5k and I was okay with that.

Mile 3 was a blur.  I caught up to personal friend Kellie and we ran together for a bit.  We went around the backside of Mount Trashmore and past the start of the race.  I had forgotten the start and the finish of the race were at different spots.  Around 2.7, I thought…um there is not enough mileage left to go back around Trashmore, I don’t have energy for a long race today.  Then I realized we were heading to the finish.  The third mile I hit at 6:41.

hair of the dog 5k 1

I powered through the final .1 and hit the finish line.  I crossed the finish line in exactly 20:00 minutes.  The race was chip timed and since I crossed the start line 1 second after the race started, I saved myself an entire second. So I finished in 19:59.

A screen shot from the video
A screen shot from the video

When I finished I thought I might be sick.  Kris told me I didn’t look so good (and this gem photo proves it).  After a minute of not running, I felt fine again.

hair of the dog finish

Overall thoughts:

I was very surprised with the result both results.  I was surprised I was able to run (just under) 20 minutes for both races. My legs and body were exhausted.  I am extremely pleased with both 5k efforts and I hope to improve this year on those.

My previous 5k on December 14th, had left a sour taste in my mouth.  I was glad to put that race 5k away and race two solid 5ks.  While they are still 80-90 seconds slower than my PR, I’m looking forward to getting closer to that in 2015.  Both races gave me a lot of needed confidence post injury.

Kris and I eagerly awaiting our sweet medals and forcing dadLOLZ to take our photo (well me forcing him)
Kris and I eagerly awaiting our sweet medals and forcing dadLOLZ to take our photo (well me forcing him)
Overall winners, Renee (1), Kris (2) and I (3)
Overall winners, Renee (1), Kris (2) and I (3)

Questions for you:

What is your best (or worst) race photo?

I haven’t but it’s been close a couple of times.

What is your 5k strategy?




Beat the Ball 5k Race Recap (19:30)

I owe two race recaps so I suppose I’ll work on those.  I’ve had my arms tied the last couple of days so I haven’t even opened my blog reader yet.  I hope everyone had a good New Year’s though.  🙂

This has been the first New Years that I have been able to watch the ball drop and been in the US since high school.  Weird eh I’ve been on training trips for college swim team the rest of the time).  Anyways-after doing a lot of research, I found a 5k on New Years Night.  By doing research, I mean I was casually browsing my running clubs website and saw there was a 5k on that.  Sounds good to me-it’s not like I have real life friends to celebrate New Year’s with anyways.  Oh wait-I do and they will all be running this road race.

This race was titled “Beat the Ball”.  It was a 5k that started at 11:35pm.  The goal was to race under 25 minutes and finish the race in time to watch the ball drop on the big screen they had outdoors.

So anyways, that same day one of my friends Tim came down and wanted to run.  He doesn’t live too far away so it wasn’t as strenuous as a drive from Upstate.   I seem to have a lot more guy friends as girl, as dad pointed out.  I think it’s because my guy friends will run with me.

Moving on-the race started at 11:35pm so we got there around 10:15 or so.  Beforehand was super stressful because my dog was very sick.  She had slowly been getting worse for the last week or so and they knew she had cancer.  We weren’t exactly how much longer she would make it (she was roughly 15).  Mom stayed with her instead of watching the race.

Upon arriving, we warmed up for about a mile or so and waited inside.  Not that it was cold (60+ degrees) but there were lots of fun festivities inside.   I honestly thought this was going to be a small race but there were 300+ people.

Then at the starting line, my whole world came crashing down.  Some man that I had never met before (I presume one of dads friends) came up to me and word for word says: “Your dad left.  Your dog died.”

Not your dog has passed away and you father left to take care of her.  No just your dad left, your dog died.  I lined up physically crying.  There wasn’t too much I could do but to know she was in a better place.

Then the gun went off and we went.  After the first .5, something terrible happened.  I was feeling awesome, and I felt something around my foot loosen the fall off.  My chip!  Ugh-I debated for a split second to stop but didn’t and kept running.  If nothing else-I knew the time I was going to run weather it recorded or not.

I hit my first mile in 5:55.  My first sub 6 minute mile ever.  That’s all I have to really say about that because I was so pumped.  I debated stopping right there and thanking the heavens but I didn’t.  Slightly inappropriate perhaps.

Mile 2 and 3 were a somewhat of a blur.  I was lost in my own thoughts about my dog, life in general, and my first sub 6 minute mile.  I remember looking at my watch at 16:20 and thinking hopefully less than 4 minutes to go but that is about it.

I finished the race in a time of 19:30.  It didn’t record (of course since I lost my chip).  I spent the next hour sulking but in my regards it was my own fault.  Then the nicest people helped me out and told the race officials!  The race officials were also taking manual times (way after crossing the finish line(More for places)), they caught a manual time for me of 19:44.  All I really wanted at this point was my award.  I actually got first female overall!

Anyways-I “beat the ball” and got to watch it drop on the big screen outdoors which was pretty neat.  They gave us champagne flutes and we celebrated the New Years with a glass of that and then went home only to wake up for another 5k 8 hours later.  🙂

Question for you: How was your New Year Celebration?