You know how some runs leave you feeling run ragged and whiny but others can leave grinning maniacally as you run up the street scaring people? Yeah I had one of those.
My blog is called Slacker Runner for a reason. In fact it was almost called Part Time Runner. I know I don’t run as often or as many miles as other people. I love rest days, they just speak to me. But what I don’t say is that as much as they speak words of comfort to me, those words also come with guilt. I feel guilty every time I don’t run and it stresses me out. The cycle continues on and on and on.
So when Coach Jenny told me to take 2 days off early this week, a part of me freaked out. Monday and Tuesday as mental health days?!?! Life and work has been stressing me out and I feel like I haven’t slept properly in weeks. Sunday night saw maybe 3 hours of sleep, maybe. Had she not told me not to run, I would have tried to run after work on Monday. That probably would have been a horrible idea. So instead I followed directions and rested. A tiny amount of yoga on Monday and nothing on Tuesday. Turns out having a coach tell me to take the rest days took away most of the guilt. Who knew?!
When it came time to run on Wednesday I was nervous. I am not sure why, it’s not like I could have forgotten how. A 45 minute easy run was on the schedule so I ran in work town to enjoy as much daylight as possible.
Holy crap, people. It was awesome. That’s not to say it was easy because I know damn well I ran parts of it too fast. I ran without music and enjoyed the views. The weather seemed perfect for a run and I think I would have kept running if I hadn’t run out of daylight. Well, I also didn’t have water. People! I only took 3 walk breaks!!!! That is unreal for me these days. Post marathon, walk breaks have been my friend and my crutch. And the first walk break was only because I can’t run up the hill in the eucalyptus grove without face planting. However, I was so excited on Wednesday that I tried it. The slick ground put a pin in that real quick. 😛 The second one was due to a phone call that I couldn’t ignore. The third was because damn that hill is long.
Seriously, it was awesome. It was a run I needed mentally as I have 2 races looming on the horizon. I’m normally cussing running up that last hill instead I was smiling ear to ear. 😀😀
Disclaimer: I received Luvo Inc. to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Food is my weakness, my Achilles heel- guilty pleasure, comfort food, way to celebrate, when I’m sick, when I’m bored, yadda yadda. I know I have a dysfunctional relationship food, I’ve mentioned it here a few times. I have a very angsty post on the back burner too but that’s not the point right now. Laziness is also a weakness- I eat out way too often. I try not to think about how much money I spend on food. Side note- I did set up my online banking to track pizza spending once—holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!
I am trying to change things up though so when the opportunity came up to try Luvo Inc, I thought about it. I liked the convenience but was concerned about the food. I have so many diet restrictions I have troubles remembering what is what. Then there is the fact of how picky I am outside of the restrictions. But I spent some time perusing the website and decided to go for it. Good time to step outside the box right?
So, first things first- I went with a few of restrictions but not all. So the items I received had no soy, no nuts, no fish and I no dairy? I think, not sure about that last one. Not too bad right? I received-
They looked equal parts yummy and scary. There were a few things in each meal that I was little stymied by, I won’t lie but I was looking forward to trying them. They are super easy to cook- place the bag in microwave to steam, let sit for a minute, cut open and slide onto a plate. Done!! Want to know something sad? I use my microwave so rarely, I couldn’t figure out how long to cook the meals! It got worse when I tried to use the work microwave that is about 12 years old! 😏
Once I got past my ineptitude with the microwave, I discovered that I really like the meals I got to try. The Red Wine Braised Beef is my favorite. Well, except for the brussels sprouts, I can’t stand brussels sprouts. 😛 It was also my first time eating Polenta. Sadly I had to google what it was first but I like it! I only wish the meals were a little bigger. I felt really good about my dinner choice though!
I liked that the meals were all natural and better for me than my usual dinner choices. They were super convenient and took very little time to prepare. Plus, they look pretty on your plate so I felt like I actually accomplished something. They have an Orange Mango Chicken and Chicken in BBQ Sauce that I would love to try.
I am not sure what happened last week. I am not sure if it was the lack of sleep catching up with me and I kind of felt like I was fighting some bug. I was feeling down but whatever it was, I fell off the motivation train. I kind of just wanted to hide in a dark hole and sleep. But life goes on right?
Monday- Rest Rest day!! And a day off, man that was nice. I was feeling a little sore form Sunday’s race so taking it easy was fine be me. Plus I had to take my dad to an appointment so I killed time in the best way-
Tuesday- 7 miles bike. I felt crappy all day, just sluggish and worn down. Sleep was rough which didn’t help. I had packed my running gear as my coach had me scheduled for 30-45 minute recovery run. By the end of work, I knew it wasn’t happening. I headed home and did a slow 7 miles on the bike instead.
Wednesday- 6 miles Rest Yeah, I can’t really pinpoint what happened here. I felt better but not 100%; I was tired but what else is new? My family invited me to dinner and the tri tip was calling? Whatever it was, it won and I did not run.
Thursday- 5 miles The plan was to run 3 miles a little faster than goal half marathon pace plus warm up and cool down. I was still in a funk and had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen. I did try though. I worked a partial day and headed to the river path to attempt it. Yeah, it went about as well as I expected. I could not get my legs into gear. My splits for the speed work were 9:43, 10:35, 9:32. Ha! Not even close to a sub 9. But I ran though, right?
Friday- Rest Pretty typical Friday. Work was work and I admit I caved and picked up a pizza on the way home. Well, I ordered one but Domino’s messed it up so they gave me 2. 2?! That doesn’t help the waistline. 🍕😛
Saturday- Rest I worked in the morning and enjoyed a white knuckle drive home as everyone in CA forgot how to drive in the rain. It didn’t help that the fog was so dense, you could barely see a car length in front of you. Throw in the steep drop on both sides of the highway and that was fun. I meant to be productive in the afternoon but beyond laundry and posting my Bibrave review of City to the Sea, I really wasn’t.
Sunday- 8.1 miles– I wanted 10. I could not make myself get out bed any sooner. The day called for rain and I wanted to run in the only dry part of the morning. I love the rain but figured if I was still fighting something, running in the rain wasn’t going to help. I also had to run in the morning as my family had plans in the afternoon- my little brother turned 30!!! Man, I feel old.
Anyways, back to the run. It was kind of all over the place. Kind of like the weather. First it was cold, then it was super windy, then it turned unbelievably muggy and hot before starting all over again. Every half mile was a new adventure. Kind of like my pace. Mile 4 was a 9:30- oops! There were times when I felt like I was running tall, had awesome form and could go forever. Then there times when I felt hunched over and tired, panting like a dog. Can I blame the weather changes? Whatever it was, I was glad to be done.
So to recap- 13 miles run and 7 biked. I did get a long-ish run in so that’s a plus. I’ve done some thinking about how how my next races will be run but I will save that for another post. My hope is get in a solid week of training going forward. And to sleep more. Oh- I did receive my essential oils- after a battle, the post office lost them- so I have been trying those and will share thoughts soon. It’s only been a few days so I am still on the fence. 😛
Disclaimer: Do I even need this? I won entry into this race via a Facebook contest. I would have registered for it anyways but winning is better. 😛
I love this race but it also stresses me out. Why? This race is still my half marathon PR…from 2013. Sometimes I feel like I am getting farther and farther away from that race. I knew going in this year that I was no where near PR shape and that was fine, I was just hoping for a solid race. Coach Jenny with Ekiden Coaching and I had discussed using the race as a training run for the Harvest Marathon half and we were both on the same page of aiming for a 2:10. It sounded a little ambitious as most of my 13.1’s this year have been plagued by a variety of issues but I was hopeful. While my marathon training had little speed work I was hopeful the distance training would help.
Then HOB Fun Run happened and I hurt like hell after. Missed 2 runs due to leg pain, stopped sleeping because well, life and received bad family news. I chucked all time thoughts out the window and just hoped to finish. When my mom dropped me off at the race start I told her to not even look for me before the 2:30 point. City to the Sea is a point to point so logistics can be a little tricky. This year my mom decided she would just drop me off, kill time, pick me up and then we would go to lunch. Thanks mom!
Pet peeve- the race had a 7AM start time. I got like 2 hours of sleep the night before and was feeling a little nauseous. The dang thing started 10 minutes late!
Miles 1-5- 10:04, 10:40, 10:23, 10:00, 10:19
And we were off! I had placed myself near the 2:30 pace group but I lost them fairly quickly. Oops. I tried to just keep it steady but it was only mile 1! Miles 1-5 are fairly flat to downhill so I tried to not be crazy. I felt something flapping about .75 in and looked down to see my left shoelace was undone. Again?! I pulled off to the side to tie and once again it was like I forgot how to tie my shoes. Once fixed I ran on. Damn, my calves were getting super tight. Just keep running…wait, now my other shoe was untied. What?!! Again, I pulled to the side to tie my shoes. Then I ran on. Until I pulled to the side to stretch out my calves. Less than 2.5 miles in and I had stopped 3 times. Probably not a good sign. 😞 I kept going but my lower legs were getting super tight. I hate flat routes. I took my first walk break at 3.5 miles trying to shake the tightness out. Between the slight downhill and the slant of the road, my legs were screaming. I knew there was a hill coming soon and I needed it.
Miles 6-10- 10:05, 11:01, 9:58, 10:26, 11:53
We were off the main strip in SLO, under the freeway and onto a side road. Hills!! I never thought I would be so excited to hit the hilly portion. But the first hill did exactly what I wanted it to do- the calf tightness loosened almost completely and I didn’t really notice it the rest of the race. Woo hoo! My stomach cramped in a very bad way partway through mile 7- walk break! Bummer was the slant- the road was super slanted and something about it aggravated a muscle high up in my right butt. I have no other way to describe it. That in turn tweaked my right knee. While things didn’t hurt, they sure didn’t feel comfortable.
There was a decent downhill in mile 8 as we ran into Avila and I was feeling good so I picked up a tiny bit of pace. Then we rounded onto the Bob Jones trail and I just told myself to enjoy running through the trees. I also ran in the dirt alongside the path to take some of the pounding off my legs. I had felt a slight twinge from the troublesome left shin area and the butt issue was still around. 😛 Once out the trail we headed for Avila Bay drive which thanks to last year I knew to expect a good size hill. I told myself I could take a walk break if I ran halfway up. Success! So much better than last year. Rounded to the corner to another hill and we were into Pismo! And the temp jumped about 20 degrees. Ouch.
Miles 11-13- 11:11, 10:58, 11:33
I wanted to be singing the I’m almost done song but instead I was having some GI issues. My stomach had decided to be pissed off- seriously?! From then on it was run until I cramped then walk until it eased. Grrr. During one of my walk breaks I noticed someone familiar pass me. I wasn’t sure but I hollered Bix anyways- it was! Bix was my very first race buddy- we ran a few races together years ago. Until I convinced her to run Firehouse 5K with me without knowing how brutal it was- she never ran with me again. 😛 This was her fist half marathon! We chatted a bit, discussed how the slanted roads were killing us and I warned her another hill was coming around mile 12. We separated then but it was cool seeing her. I did my run/ walk thing until the very end. I swear this race has the longest last .25 mile. Every single time I run it, it drags on forever! But finally, the finish line was in sight!
Well, that’s not too bad! Actually it is my fastest half marathon finish this year! There are a couple of points where I know I lost time but who’s to say I wouldn’t have lost it somewhere else. The shoelaces thing drives me crazy though. I never have that problem but now I have at the last two races! Grrr.
Once I crossed the finish I was given my medal and then a tumbler and then a sticker. Hey, that’s new! Kind of helps make up for the tiny shirt. 😛 I got out of the chute but hung around as I wanted to see Bix finish. Woo hoo!
I was still feeling a little green so I met up with my mom and we just got ourselves out of everyone’s way. I got myself under control and we headed out to find a yummy lunch.
All in all, I would say this was a solid race. I was way more consistent than I thought I would be. I won’t complain about being faster than I figured- neither would my mom- she’d waited long enough. That said, I believe I ran the best I could for where I was at the time- both mentally and physically. I wanted to run a good race, one to clear away the lingering issues with my other halves this year. I wanted to run a race that would help me dust the cobwebs in my head.
I am working on my race recap, promise, I just haven’t felt great so my attention span has been even shorter than usual. 😛 A week ago, I accidentally put my iPod on shuffle all. Oops. But wait, I kind of love it. It’s been like a walk down memory lane meets a trivia challenge all in one- name that tune/artist in 20 seconds!
There has been a lot of what the hell was I thinking?! I’ve had to Shazaam some of my own music! There are more than a few “unknown artists” on my iPod thanks to a less than stellar computer switch a years ago. On the upside, I finally found my missing 30 Seconds to Mar album that had mysteriously “disappeared”.
Anyways, an old running favorite of mine came on today while I was driving home. I almost skipped it- I listened to it on every run or race back when I was in awesome shape and throwing down my best times at every race. It’s been a long and bumpy road since then and I didn’t feel worthy of the song.
Who thinks like that?! So in a fit of rebellion against myself and all my doubts, I cranked up the volume and shouted along. Off key but whatever. 😎
Avery Watts- A Cut Above
Heads up- I’d never seen the video of this song before so when I pulled it up on YouTube I was a little confused- 7 minutes long? It starts like an inspirational Nike commercial, who knew? The song starts around 4 minutes in. The beginning is a little shout-y odd so if you want to skip it, click on the second video. 😛
Who knew you could start a video at at certain point?!
I did warn you my music taste was a little over the place. The next song was Shania Twain.