Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sleep is Overrated Part 2: Wedding Shenanigans

It was wedding weekend number 2 this past weekend and it was a big one!  My baby sister got married and I cannot even begin to tell you how happy I am for her and my new brother-in-law.  Since I want to spare you from an excessively long blog post, I'll break it down by day similar to last weekend's wedding post.  Are you ready?

8:00 AM     Work!
3:00 PM     Drive to Salinas to pick up my aunt and cousin
3:30 PM     Start the drive out to L.A.
9:00 PM     Hellooo L.A.!
9:30 PM     Hang out with the cuzzos and do a last minute practice session of our "surprise"
                 dance routine (which I neglected to learn ahead of time.  OOPS!)
11:30 PM   Finally go to sleep

7:30 AM     Rise and shine!  It's the big day and it's time to get beautified.
8:00 AM     Hair gets done
12:30 PM   Make-up is done
1:00 PM     Last minute wedding prep
4:00 PM     Throw my MoH dress & get some pics in with the bridal party & miscellaneous
                  family members
4:30 PM     Head out to the wedding venue
5:30 PM     WEDDING!
6:00 PM     Post-nuptial photo op with the familia
6:30 PM     Head to the reception venue
7:00 PM     Reception!  Eat, drink, MoH speech.  Eat, drink, dance...repeat!
3:00 AM     Sunday morning and we finally go to sleep. HA!



My family keeps it classy!

7:00 AM     I hear some of the family members waking up so I do to.  I keep my eyes closed
                  and try to get back to sleep.  I eventually drift back to sleep but not for long.
9:00 AM     Finally get myself up
10:00 AM   Dual birthday party for my little cousin and my cousin's cousin.  I was hurting
                 from the sleep deprivation in a big way!
4:30 PM     Finally head back home
9:30 PM     Drop my aunt and cousin off
10:00 PM   Finally home! Thank goodness!
11:00 PM   Sleeeep!

7:00 AM     Up and at 'em! Time for work.
5:30 PM     After a long day I finally get to go home
6:00 PM     Stuff my face with leftover ribs, mashed potatoes and brownies from the
7:00 PM     Social media updates and race committee work
12:00 PM   Insomnia I hate you!  Finally crash and burn.

7:30 AM     My body finally had enough and I slept through my alarm and missed my planned
                  5:30 AM RIPPED workout.  Oopsies!
8:30 AM     Work
5:00 PM     Head home
6:00 PM     Team In Training track workout
7:00 PM     Stuff my face with food!
8:00 PM     Social media and blog updates
9:00 PM     I'm putting myself to bed and crossing my fingers that I actually go to sleep!
                 Early AM wake-up call tomorrow for a run.  Wish me luck!

TNT Track Night!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sleep is overrated

This weekend has been a hectic one for me.  It's been a non-stop whirlwind of activity and I am officially spent.  Here's a breakdown of my weekend shenanigans:

8:00 AM       3 mile jog
10:00 AM     Race Committee Meeting
12:10 PM     Drive to L.A.
5:30 PM       Pick-up Maid of Honor dress and lend moral support for my sister's final
                   wedding dress fitting
7:30 PM       Drive home
1:00 AM       Get home, unpack and attempt to go to sleep
2:30 AM       Finally get some zzz's

6:30 AM       Up and at 'em!
7:30 AM       TNT 8 mile coached run
11:00 AM     Wedding ceremony/reception set-up and pre-event wine with the ladies
1:00 PM        Rush home to get de-stinkified and wedding ready
3:00 PM       Wedding!
8:30 PM        Post-wedding sushi with friends
10:30 PM      Finally home
12:00 AM     Thanks insomnia!  Finally asleep.

10:00 AM     Up and at 'em!  Apparently my body decided it wanted sleep more than it
                   wanted to run the 5k race that I had planned to participate in.  Whoops!
10:30 AM     Blog updates
12:30 PM     Lunch with a friend
2:00 PM       Errands
5:00 PM       Race committee work
9:00 PM       It's a wrap!  Wind down and attempt to sleep.

And the best part?  I get to do it all over again next weekend for my sister's wedding! If I make it through June alive it'll be a miracle. HA!

For your viewing pleasure here's a photo dump from the weekend:

I'm a bit of a cheeser

My own personal cheerleader

My girl Chantel

My awesome Team in Training team

Wedding outfit. Where are my running shoes?

Hellooo sushi!

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

4 cities and a week of running

Hi everyone!  I'm alive!  Instead of writing a post for each run this week I thought I'd save y'all the reading time and just consolidate it all into one post.  Here you go:

Saturday, 5/31:

I had a 6 mile run with my Team in Training team on the schedule.  I really love getting my run in first thing in the morning and running with an amazing group of people makes it even better!  Hill training for the win! Thank you Ocean Avenue x 2.

Distance: 6.03 miles
Time: 1:00:31
Average Pace: 10:02 min/mile


Love running with these girls!

Can't get enough of this view


Rest day


O'dark thirty 4 mile progressive run with Thepinkhatrunner and Sarah.  Short but sweet and felt great!

Distance: 4.05 miles
Time: 41:20
Average Pace: 10:12 min/mile


Happy National Running Day!  To celebrate Thepinkhatrunner, Sarah and I headed out at o'dark thirty to get 8 miles in to start the day.  Speed work and hills for breakfast.  WOOHOO!

Distance: 8.01 miles
Time: 1:22:14
Average Pace: 10:16 min/mile


My co-workers agreed to go for a run with me after work so we went out for an easy 3.5 mile run.  I even convinced one to sign up for his first half marathon! HOLLA!

Distance: 3.52 miles
Time: 34:27
Average Pace: 9:47 min/mile


Rest day


Easy 4 mile run (no pics though. FAIL!).

Distance: 4.01 miles
Time: 39:47 
Average Pace: 9:55 min/mile


Today was a long run day!  None of us have any races that we're really training for but we met at 6:00 AM and ran 15 miles just for fun.  And to add to the good times, we ran a whole lot of hills.  FUN! HA!  And because sharing is caring, here's a bunch of pics for you to view.  You're welcome! 

Cities Ran: 3
Distance: 15.02 miles
Time: 2:36:49
Average Pace: 10:18 min/mile

Trail in the woods

The deer were spectating

Trail running

I never tire of this view

Oh so pretty

So lucky to get to run in such a beautiful place

Seen on my run

Love these ladies! Left to right: Chantel, Michele, Sarah


Monday, June 2, 2014

#100MileClub: Nanny Goat Race Recap - Part 2

On the morning of race day I woke up to the sounds of excited chatter and cars pulling into the parking lot as runners arrived at the race venue.  Surprisingly, I felt pretty good for not having gotten much sleep and I bounced out of bed, got dressed and headed out the door for check-in...all while my amazing race crew still lay mumbling half-asleep in their beds.  Hooray for motorhome "camping"!  As soon as my feet hit the barn I was surrounded by an indescribable, palpable energy and I stood there for a moment soaking it all in.  In that moment all of the negativity and doubts that were pervading my thoughts for the past week dissipated and I was filled with excitement.  This was really happening!

The Bay Area stall.  This is happening!

I walked up to the check-in table, grabbed my race bib and swag (insulated travel mug and Patagonia shirt for the win!), deposited everything in my group's stall and proceeded to engage in the pre-race organized chaos around me.  I had the time of my life seeing runner friends and meeting new ones including Tony from Endorphin Dude, Leigh Anne from Get Fit with LA, Kat from Smushtush Running and Fitness, Michael from Run Nerds Rock and his wife Melissa, Kristina from Live Laugh Love Run and many, many others.  I felt like I was surrounded by running royalty!  As I munched on Belvita (which seemed to be the only thing my stomach wanted) I chatted, laughed and took what seemed like a million pictures with some of the most incredible people that I have ever met.  They helped me feel at ease, comfortable and like I belonged amongst them, even though most of them I had just met that morning and everyone had running resumes that put me to shame.  

So much awesomeness! I'm not worthy!


Before long the RD announced that it was 10 minutes to the race start and for all runners to head to the goat pen.  Nanny Goat has an unconventional, and probably my all-time favorite, start.  All runners were corralled into the "goat pen" for the national anthem and one of the most entertaining pep talks from the RD before the gate was opened and we were released to start the race.  We were off!

All of the badass runners in the goat pen. 
Photo credit: Jason Buckner

The first mile went by quickly and it wasn't long before I was laughing at my naivete.  The course that I walked the night before was no where near the course we were running.  We ran on dirt trail, then an out and back section on paved road, back onto a different dirt trail that turned into soft grass with divets then mud before getting back onto the original dirt trail/road.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be running on so many different surfaces within the span of one mile!  

That cone was mocking me towards the end of the race.

The first two miles I spent running solo for the most part, chatting on occasion with whoever happened to be running next to me.  At mile 3 I met up with my friend James and his friend Leo who were doing a 3/1 run/walk.  Since I was a newbie (and didn't have my Garmin to tell me my pace) and they were the more experienced runners, I decided to hang out with them and pretty much follow their lead.  Leo was awesome at keeping us at a 14-15 min/mile pace average and he had no qualms about telling us to slow down which was exactly what I needed.  Having company also made the miles go by faster and we hit double digit miles in no time.  At some point James and then Leo stopped in the barn to grab food/electrolytes while I continued running.  Thankfully, I ran into Sofie and she was kind enough to be my pacer until the sun set.

During the miles I shared with Sofie we talked about all things running and life.  She provided great pointers including staying on top of eating and hydration, keeping the pace nice and easy during the day when it was hot and walking the uphills and grassy area to save our ankles from rolling.  I explained how I got to Nanny Goat and why this race was so special to me.  You see, in addition to wanting to prove to myself and all those naysayers that I could do it, I also wanted to finish this race for two very special people in my life.  The first is my I Run 4 buddy, Jason.  Jason and I were matched at the end of January of this year and I have been blessed to be able to run for him and get to know him and his family.  This little fighter was turning one on Memorial Day so I wanted to give him the best birthday present I could by finishing what I set out to do.  The second person, and the one I most wanted to do this for, is my dad.  My dad is a proud U.S. Army vet and for the majority of his life he was an avid runner.  Unfortunately, due to gout and arthritis my dad is no longer able to run.  I wanted to run this race and finish it strong for him and represent him in this sport that he loves but is no longer able to participate in.

I ended up staying with Sofie until mile 60 or so.  At around that time the weather cooled down considerably and twilight hit.  I know most runners say the night is the hardest part of any ultra but for me running at night was where I felt the best.  The cooler temps lifted my spirits and there weren't any of the mind games that I usually play on myself when I can see where I'm going.  I just ran...and it felt great!  I felt so good that I was even running through the grass and mud despite the fact that one misstep would have been disastrous.

The miles and the night flew by quickly and soon the sun had risen and the temps were rising.  I was so hot!  I hate running in heat more than anything but I powered through and made it to 86 miles before the 24 hour cut-off.  Once I got through mile 86, my crew member Kandace jumped in and started pacing me for the remaining 14 miles.  At around mile 88 I started to feel nauseous.  I had never been nauseous at a race before so I had no clue what was causing it!  I tried eating and drinking but nothing worked.  Kandace ended up grabbing some table salt for me to ingest and I immediately felt better.  Who knew?!  Apparently I wasn't watching my salt/electrolyte intake very well towards the last several miles.  Thank goodness it was an easy fix!

At around mile 90 my right shin started hurting.  I've never been prone to shin splints so I was really frustrated and couldn't understand where the pain was coming from or why it was starting so late in the race.  I suddenly developed the mouth of a sailor with curse words flying all over the place and had a full-on sobbing meltdown on the course because I was so pissed off.  Poor Kandace!  She really does deserve a medal of her own for putting up with me. It turns out that my right shoe was tied just a little too tight and was putting pressure on the top of my foot near my ankle which in turn affected my shin.  So strange!  The only reason I figured it out is once I took my shoe off at the end of the race, the pain went away and the top of my foot was tender.  Lesson learned!

Regardless of the pain I kept trucking along and tried to run when I could although I was mostly hobble walking at that point.  I kept asking Kandace what time it was and what our pace was and if I had enough time to make it before the 28 hour cut-off.  I'm sure she wanted to choke me since I literally kept repeating the same questions over and over again.  Once I got to that last mile I was determined to run as much of it as I could despite the pain.  As soon as I was within sight of the barn I started sprinting (well, in my head I was sprinting anyway) and I crossed that finish line with the biggest smile on my face.  I did it!  I ran 100 miles!

RD Steve "Old Goat" Harvey presenting me with my buckle

Just a little happy to see "100" by my name

My Team Superhero family, Terri and Ray.  
Ray actually ran the 12 hour event but drove back with 
his family just to cheer me on to the finish.  They seriously rock!

This was by far the hardest and most fulfilling race that I've ever ran thus far.  It challenged me in every way possible and I got to really see what I was made of.  This one is dedicated to my Dad who is my biggest inspiration and loudest supporter.  Daddy, I know you said you wished you could still run so that we could do a race together but please know that I carried you in my heart for every step of these 100 miles and in my mind you were running with me every second of the way.  I hope I made you proud.

#100mileclub. Finish time: 27:42:49

So many people made this entire journey possible and I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to Steve Harvey for putting on such a phenomenal race and my rockstar crew, Kandace and Brian Jones, for shuttling me to and from the race and taking care of me the entire time.  A huge thanks to Terri Perez for making sure I was fed and hydrated.  Thanks to Leo and Sofie for being such amazing pacers and lastly thanks to Anne Sturz for 24 hours of non-stop clapping and cheering.  You were the reason I looked forward to running in the barn at every mile!  And f course thanks to each and every runner and spectator at Nanny Goat for making this the experience of a lifetime.  YOU are what made this the incredible event that it is and it is you that makes me want to come back and do it all over again next year.  THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of you!