Fessing Up

Considering how badly I hurt after Ventura I was expecting to be in pain on Monday and Tuesday.  Surprisingly, I felt fine.  I only felt a couple of twinges here and there.   Which was good as Monday was my first night back to volleyball.   I had Monday and Tuesday as vacation days, so it was super nice to sleep in on Monday.   I ran some errands and played on the computer, a nice relaxing day before volleyball in the evening.    While we didn’t win, we played well.  It was new team (sort of) and I hadn’t played in almost a year.   I thought I was going to be more rusty but it felt very familiar.

Damn, my shoes are white

Damn, my shoes are white

The only downside was the niggling of headache that had been lingering for a few days.  That niggling turned into a full blown migraine by Tuesday morning and I could barely walk, let alone get in my planned run.  I spent Tuesday in bed in a dark room.  Great vacation day right?   That headache has hung around since, so I actually have not run since Ventura.  I did make it to work the rest of the week though.  I had to take a personality type assessment (similar to Myers Briggs) on Wednesday for a training seminar.   Never take those when you have a headache.    Your answers are just a little off.    Oops!   Oh well, at least I got a decent laugh out of it.   And I think I figured out what triggered the headaches, so hopefully those will be easing.  :)

My 6+ miles of walking in the Ventura half gave me plenty of time to think; plenty of time to fess up.  Back in the beginning of June I posted my No Excuses Summer post.  For the most part I stuck to it.  But I shouldn’t have.  My lovely GI issue flared up shortly after that and it’s now going on 3 months.  Instead of stepping back and getting some rest, I turned in 2 of my highest mileage months ever.   My body said one thing and my head ego said something else.   Which led me to Ventura.   I’m not even mad because honestly the writing was on the wall.  My paces have gotten slower, walking breaks longer and I take a nap any chance I get- damn near everyday.

So, where am I going with this?  Half marathons and I are taking a little break.  I am dropping back to running 3x a week and capping my long runs around 9.    I have run 4 half marathons this year, that is double any previous year so really I have nothing to complain about.   But this means missing City to the Sea and that kind of pisses me off.   This would have been my third year running it.  I really like the course and the volunteers and this year the shirt is purple! I want that!  But the race also falls 4 days after I go to USC so a smarter head must prevail.  I’m not done racing though, I love races!  I am just going to stick to 10K’s and under for a bit.    I would love to run a half in November if I am healthy enough but I have accepted that Surf City (NikeC!) in February might be my next half.

At times I am ok with this scaled back plan and others I am irritated.  But then I did it to myself.  Now I have to stick to this plan and not let the lower monthly numbers play with my head.  Which is what happened the last time I said I should scale back.    I have the Avocado Margarita Festival this weekend so it’s going to be busy but hopefully my next post will have some actual running in it.   I want to run 3 days a week not none!

Ever taken one of those fun assessment tests?

Ever run yourself into a hole or is it just my special talent?

What are you doing this weekend?

Anyone racing?  (Good luck to Courtney at Don’t Blink Just Run!)

Ventura Marathon-Half- Recap

I had a feeling this post may border on wordy which is why most of the pictures were uploaded in the last post.   Now for what those photos didn’t show.

The Weekend-

I was able to get off work a couple hours early on Friday, so I headed straight home to finish packing and preparing.  I felt like I was both taking too much and not enough at the same time.   My mother and I headed out early Saturday morning, we planned on spending some time at the Ventura Mall before heading to packet pick up and the hotel.   I haven’t been in a mall in years and well it was kind of a let down.   The only upside was a Hot Topic for my inner nerd and I may have spent a little too much at Macy’s (damn Dooney!).  From there it was on to the hotel.

When I booked the hotel I looked for one that advertised as being near to the pier.  It didn’t occur to me to compare the addresses until 2 weeks ago.  Oops.  But I lucked out, the hotel was 1.2 miles from the pier on the same street and right next door to an In n Out, and I was able to get chocolate milk from the 7-11 across the street.  Sweet!   Dinner was at BJ’s Restaurant, where I indulged in a pretty good burger and fries.   That was followed by a 3.5 mile walk down to and around the pier to get my legs moving before trying to get some sleep.

Once checking out of the hotel on Sunday, we headed back to Santa Barbara for a little more shopping.   I was looking forward to a real Lululemon and just some window shopping.  The weather in Santa Barbara was amazing.   After that it was north to SLO for dinner and then finally home.  We were tired.

The Expo-IMG_6249

Not much to say here.  Packet pickup was a breeze, both easy and super windy.  Instead of a bunch of useless samples in the bag, they had a table or 2 of samples.   I only took a sample of KT tape.   The website looked like there would be a lot of vendors but most seemed more like local crafts and things.  Kind of like a farmer’s market minus the food.   I stopped by the ProCompression booth but there was no one working it?  There was live music playing and a little listening area as well.  A very nice (cute) police officer took a picture for us, but my mother deleted it- so there’s a selfie instead.  :)

The Race-

Race morning dawned and I had no need of an alarm.   I hadn’t slept well the night before and had been awake off and on from about 3 on.   I wasn’t feeling so great but that wasn’t too surprising to me.    I had packed some candy corns for race fuel but they sounded nasty so I did not even take them.  I got ready and headed out the door, I had planned on walking to starting line.    While I was walking there the marathon runners were running up the other side.   They looked so ready to go,  to the point that 3 were bouncing basketballs while running.   Seriously?  It’s all I can do to run a half marathon and you are going to bounce a basketball (or 2!) while running 26.2!!!IMG_6222

Anywho, I made my way up to the starting line in time to jump into the first wave.  A few announcements and count down and we were off!    I had issues getting both my Garmin and my Nike+ app started but managed to get them going not too far from the starting line.    I was aiming for a 10:00 average so when mile 1 came in at 9:50, I was ok with that.  Mile 2 seemed a little tougher and fell to 10:17.   I was using intervals of 8:30 run and 1:00 walk as I knew going in I wasn’t 100%.  Even with this I was tiring quickly.  The weather felt way warmer than I would have liked.   The course went through a nice housing area before going back to the main street.  It turned off towards the harbor for a quick out and back to add mileage before heading back down the main street into Oxnard and out into some fields before turning around and going back the way we came.  Mile 5- I took 2 walk breaks, I was having trouble getting my breathing under control.   I had already used my inhaler 3 times.  Which was odd because I hadn’t used it on any run since my last half marathon in July.   I kept trucking along until my next walk break at mile 6.5.  Which is where I had to get real.

I only ran once in taper week leading up to the race.  It was 3.5 miles and it was the hardest run I have ever done.   I mentioned briefly that I had finally started my antibiotics.  Between those and my lovely stomach I was thisclose to deferring Ventura.  I was feeling so crappy.   I told myself I was being a big baby and would be fine.  In reality I had no business running a half marathon at this time.   Mile 6.5 was the beginning of this epiphany (and others but more about that later).

I walked it in from there.  I called my mom at mile 7.5 and told her she had more time to relax at the hotel because I wasn’t going to be near 2:10:00.    I just kept walking.  I was so hot, my hamstrings were cramping, and my left shin felt super angry.    I took 2 cups of water at every aid station.  One to drink and one to dump over my head.  I alternated my Gatorade and their water to stay hydrated.   I had Honey Stingers in my belt but the very idea of those made me ill.   I grabbed a Cliff Shot around mile 9 and carried it for a while.  I eventually ripped it open around mile 11.  I had somehow managed to grab one with caffeine and I was hoping it would help the lungs.   I know it didn’t have enough caffeine to do anything but one can hope right.    I jogged a tiny bit each mile both to keep the pace below 14:00 and to loosen up my stiff legs.   The volunteers and the crowd support was pretty awesome.  Around mile 11.5, there was a little boy dressed as the Flash giving high fives. He was cool. :)IMG_6228[1]

The last 2.5 miles or so I was keeping pace with a women who was race walking and a guy who would run ahead and then walk.  I always caught him on the walking portions.  I couldn’t tell if he was doing intervals or if he was as spent as I was.  I never saw the 13 mile marker but did see the 26 one.  I figured I could run the last .2.   Ha!  That was the longest .2 of my life.  I thought the finish line was never going to arrive.   I did leave race walker and interval guy behind.   Finally there was the finish line and I was done.  Half marathon #9 complete, not my best, not my slowest but probably the most walking.   I won’t lie, I did get a little teary eyed at the finish.  Thank goodness for sunglasses.Ventura Marathon Results

Since I had finished later than planned, I barely had time to limp back to the hotel to shower and check out.  I hurt badly.  I don’t think I have been that sore after a race since my very first half marathon.  I gimped the 1.2 miles back to the hotel, stopping to stretch along the way.   The chocolate milk in the mini fridge was the best thing ever.   After checking out, we hit In n Out for food.  I was suddenly hungry.   Finding out that they still sold extra large drinks was the second best thing ever- that Diet Coke tasted amazing.   I did feel bad for my mom though, she had to be seen in public with me- jean shorts, teal tank and bright purple compression socks.  I was styling, ha!

So no, this race did not go according to plan but it was still a good weekend.  Shopping was fun, the food was yummy.  I also learned that I have serious problems tolerating humidity (74% WTH?!).  I got a few compliments during the race about my use of neon and I got a shout out from a fellow SLO ambassador when she ran by me.   So while I am rethinking some things, I still call this weekend a win.  :)

How do some of you deal with humidity on a regular basis?  Seriously, anything over 25% is rough for me.  Maybe I am spoiled?

What’s your post race reward?


Ventura Goals

My next half is only 2 sleeps away!  I am leaving for Ventura tomorrow morning.  Half marathon #9 is on Sunday. :)

Sounds good!

Sounds good!

With my recent rough patch, I have readjusted my goals for this race.  When I first signed up back in June I was hoping that the flat course would help with my goal of breaking 2:00 for a half marathon.   While that would be amazing, I don’t feel I am in the position to do that right now.  Frankly, I don’t think I should even try.    So in an effort to be smart, I have a new goal this weekend- have fun.   Plus this will be a race weekend of firsts-

  • First race I travel to

  • First race out of the county

  • First time sleeping in a hotel in I have no idea how long

  • First time eating dinner somewhere random pre race?

I am heading down tomorrow morning and dragging my mother along with me.   We are planning on getting in some shopping at the mall before picking up my packet and checking into the hotel.    I also don’t remember the last time I was in a mall.   With those plans I will be breaking quite a few pre-race rules.   Which helps the choice to just have fun.  Now I would like to have fun and still be around 2:10 but it will all depend on how I feel.   I ran that in SLO with hills, so fingers crossed.

I got off a few hours early today so I had plenty of time to pack.  Packing is stressful!  I am only going for 2 days/ 1 night and I feel like I am both packing too much and not enough.    I have had my race outfit planned for a while but am still taking extra shorts and compression socks.  Maybe I will change my mind?  Who knows.   I am looking forward to hitting the expo too.  The race sounds like one giant beach party, so yay!Ventura beach party

I also updated my playlist.  I am in weird mood, so it is kind of all over the place.  Some good stuff, some bad.  :)   Headphones are discouraged but I am not at the point where I can run without music.  The site recommends only running with one in and I already do that anyways.  Plus I still like hearing Mr. Nike chime in with how I am doing.  Yes, my Garmin buzzes but I like hearing it too.  I tried to take a screenshot of it, but apparently I don’t know how to get the whole thing in one image, oops.

Fingers crossed!!!!

Hope everyone had a good Friday!  Happy weekend!

Anyone else racing?   Any other plans?

Headphones- yay or nay?



August Recap-So Close

I came pretty close but fell just short.  August clocked in at my second highest mileage month of the year.    As cool as that it was, I was also a little irritated.  I had been on track to finally break 100 miles in a month, but life happens.  Taking 4 days off due to a headache that wouldn’t quit and then turning a 10 miler into 4- well that hurt the numbers.  August numbers

August Totals-

Miles-  87.7
Races- 0

I also managed to make it back to the track twice.  None of that was speed work, but the track is still my happy place.   I ran the lake path, the river path, from home, around the track and on the treadmill.  I realized that my long runs may have too many hills to be called a long, easy run but they definitely meet the slow mark.   However I did run my fastest mile in August-

And never came close again

And never came close again

Beyond that, I finally had my doctor’s appointment, attended the company picnic, got a new boss and took a lot of naps.  Seriously, why do I nap so much?    My doctor’s appointment gave some lovely antibiotics, which are kicking my ass, and a referral to USC.    Anywho, hopefully something works,  I miss speed work.

I also had a very scary run in with some dogs.  Last Friday, the customer that has 2 Bouvier’s brought them in.  I forced myself to give them a treat.  Granted, I kept the counter between us, but they still good have bitten my hands.  Mission safely accomplished.  However I have yet to run/walk down my driveway since then.

Coming into to September, I have 3 races scheduled, half marathon, 10k and 5k.  With that being said, I am not going to try to hit 100 in September.  In fact I am thinking that I will run very little the week after Ventura.    I start volleyball again on Monday and a boot camp class next Saturday.  I also am volunteering at the Avocado Margarita Festival over that weekend, probably on both days.   So it seems to me like it will be the perfect time for fewer miles.   But I also have Monday and Tuesday off, so my feet may be itching to run, depends on Ventura.    How well I will be able to squat and bump the ball at volleyball will also depend on Ventura, ha!  :)

August was rough and I feel a little run down, between work and my stupid stomach and a few weeks of rough runs.  With that in mind I have not registered for my October half yet.  I have two options.  City to the Sea (which may sell out)  that I have done the last 2 years and the Harvest Marathon.  Harvest may win just because it is the end of October and literally down the street.   However running goes in ebbs and flows and it will be awesome again, I just have to bide my time.  And maybe cross my fingers.  :)

What are you doing in September?  Any races?

What about boot camp- should I be scared?

What’s something awesome that you did in August?