Week 26- So Many Miles…

Just not on my feet.

Last week was the first of the big work trips and I was super nervous about it.   I was driving down to San Diego on Friday and back on Saturday.   I’d never driven that far by myself before.  I was only freaking out a little.  Ok, a fair amount.

I prepared plenty of podcasts to keep me alert- thanks Bibrave and This American Life- for some reason I can only seem to listen to podcast on long drives.  But the drives went well if not tiring.   As well as possible poor food choices.  😛

Monday- Yoga I wasn’t feeling too great so I passed on running after work and just headed home.  I did complete a yoga video later in the evening though.

Tuesday- 4.47 miles/ yoga Haha, should have paid more attention to the GPS before I stopped my watch.   I set out for a few miles and just tried to focus on how I was landing my left leg so my foot wouldn’t hurt.   I ended up re-lacing my shoe twice but overall it was a pretty decent run.

Wednesday- Yoga I meant to run, it fit my schedule better but for some reason I can’t remember I didn’t.😛

Thursday- 2.25 miles I had a few things I needed to get done before the next day’s trip but I wanted to get a few miles on my legs.  However my feet were so not on board.  Now, both feet were hurting?!  What?  Even yoga sounded like a bad idea-just painful.

Friday- Drive/work  I left my house around 5:45 in the morning and drove.  Unlike the race trip to San Diego, I made good time and arrived around 12ish.    Then we worked until after 6 and it was off to the hotel.  Originally I had considered running in the hotel fitness center but I was so tired that I crashed pretty hard once I found the hotel and then ate dinner.

Saturday- Drive home  This time I wasn’t so lucky and this drive took longer.  I hit so much more traffic through the Burbank- Ventura area.

Sunday- 5 miles I was hoping that my feet would allow me to get a good 6-8 mile run but my lungs had other ideas.   I had a freakin’ asthma attack in mile 3.  I was in denial at first but soon had to admit that it was real and that I really did need my inhaler.   And then again.  I was toast.  I tried to run again but it was just a farce.  I slogged my way home and called it at 5.

11.7 miles for the week.  Boo.  I am so behind where I need to be for the year and I need to figure out what is going on with my feet.

How was your week?

Week 25- Of Heat and Headaches

What’s up party people?

Yah, no, I’m never saying that again.

Last week was a typical work week.  I got in a few miles, did some yoga (say what?), probably watched too much TV, probably ate too much food, definitely consumed too much popcorn while watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  Oh and I Twitter stalked the Western States results.  As one does.

Monday- 2.32 miles   I headed for the lake path after work hoping that the combo of the dirt trail and the flatness of the loop would be good for my foot.   It was a little warm- mid 80’s but I was only out there for a short time so how bad could it be?  Good lord, I was sweating so bad in those short 2 miles- what gives?  😛  However, as long as I focused on my form and how I landed on both my ankle and my left foot, it wasn’t a bad run.  I was feeling a little encouraged.

Tuesday- Rest  I wasn’t going to be stupid though and push it.

Wednesday- Rest I was actually supposed to attend a business mixer after work but I ended up feeling super nauseous and sick to my stomach towards the end of work so I ended up just going home.   Which sucked because I was planning on running after the mixer too.  However when I got back to town, I realized those plans would have been scrapped anyways as town was blanketed in smoke due to a brush fire on the army base.

Thursday- 3.14 miles It was 60 degrees in work town and 100 in home town, where do you think I ran?   Yeah, I never claimed to be a genius.   It actually didn’t feel that hot but I tried to be smart and made sure I took walk breaks consistently even if I didn’t feel like I needed them.  I also made sure I had plenty of hydration on me.  Overall, this was a decent run and I only one odd twinge from my foot.

Friday- Hey, migraine, I didn’t invite you to the party.

Saturday- Yoga My migraine was still an unwanted visitor when I woke up in the morning and it never really eased up.  It was another really hot day so I wasn’t going to push it with my head already being on the edge.  Instead I started a yoga series in the evening.

Sunday- 5 miles/ yoga Temps in the 80’s felt pretty marvelous after the previous few days.  I wasn’t feeling like running though so I kept putting it off. Truthfully I just wanted to take a nap.  But I made myself change and lace up my shoes and get out there for a few miles.  I told myself to do 3 but I was feeling ok so I ended up doing my neighborhood “easy” 5.    I shouldn’t call it that… the hills make it feel the opposite of easy.  I later did the second yoga video.

10.5 miles for the week.  Well, at least the number is going up and I think my foot is starting to cooperate.  Fingers crossed.

How was your week?

Levitate My Way

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Levitate 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!

Shoes!!! I love shoes!

Even when they don’t love me.  If you’ve been around the blog for a while then you might know that I’ve been having shoe issues for a few years now.  My favorite shoe ever went through a massive overhaul back in late 2016/ early 2017 and I hated the changes.  Ever since then I’ve bounced around from shoe to shoe and varying brand.   Somebody help!

Brooks introduced the Levitate into it’s lineup in late 2017.  It looked pretty and I was hearing good things but I was hesitant because it looked like more shoe than I was used to.   Yet, I kept hearing good things.  Then I started training for Big Sur and I was a mess when it came to my shoes.  Where were these??? I really shouldn’t have been afraid to try them.

So when I had the chance to try them post Big Sur, I said Yes, Please! Then I waited impatiently for them to arrive.    Once they did, I did a little happy jig and every mile run since has been in the Levitate’s.

Ok let’s get the technical stuff down-

  • Energized Cushioning-With the most energy return of leading performance running shoes, Levitate’s DNA AMP midsole technology gives energy nowhere to go but up, straight back to you.
  • Quick Transitions- A flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole helps you move from heel to toe quickly, without losing energy.
  • Intuitive Fit- The 3D Fit Print and FitKnit upper comfortably accommodates your foot as it moves and expands.
  • Quick Transitions-The Midfoot Transition Zone and Segmented Crash Pad provide quick heel-to-toe transitions.
Levitate Specs
all data from brooksrunning.com

Ok, so how did they feel?

Not gonna lie, the first few runs took some getting used to, it’s been a while since I ran in a “normal” running shoe- I went from a zero drop to these so I had an adjustment period.  A couple of runs and a shoelace adjustment and things were feeling much better.

In fact the more I wore them, the better they felt.  I was really liking the cushioned feel they offered.   They made me want to keep running!  I also threw down some of my fastest mile splits in over a year.    Which might not have been the greatest idea as my back/glutes haven’t been 100% since Big Sur which I partially blame on my poor shoe choice there.  By mile 20, I was considering running barefoot.  I wish I had the Levitate’s then!  But that also shouldn’t surprise me- my first marathon was run in Brooks.

Now- full disclosure- I’ve longest run I’ve run is 13 miles in the Levitate so far.  However there were zero hot points or pressure spots so winning!   I’m also don’t see another marathon in my near future so I doubt I’ll be going over 13 miles any time soon.  😛 I am notoriously hard on shoes but so far these still look fairly new other than some dirt and there’s nothing wrong with a little dirt.   I wore significant amounts of tread off my last pair of new shoes (different brand) within 30 miles so right now that is a huge plus in the Levitate’s favor and I have almost double the miles on them.   Some online reviews expressed thoughts that they felt heavy but they felt perfectly fine to me.

All right, slight down point- they are a little pricey.  However, I think they are worth it- I’d rather pay a little more for a good shoe then buy something just because it’s on sale.  That’s a quick way to end up hurting something that wasn’t hurting before.  And yes, that’s the voice of experience talking- been there, done that, lesson learned.

I am loving the shoes so far and am looking forward to putting more miles on them, I think these and one pair of my zero’s will make the perfect shoe rotation.   I will check back in if something changes in how I feel about the shoes but now I just want to #runallthemiles.  When’s my next race?

What do you run in?

Want to hear more? Check out other Pro’s thoughts-
Amanda

Week 21- What is in the Air???

Upcoming Races-

  • Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1

Dudes, this week- last week, whatever- was flippin’ weird.  Was something in the air?

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad- I ran, I ate pizza, I watched movies, I slept in, it just started out Rough.

Monday and Tuesday were so rough at work that by Tuesday evening I had somehow convince myself it was Friday and we had worked an entire week. When my alarm went off on Wednesday I almost cried.  😂 I’m not normally that emotional.  I pulled it together and got through the week.

In better news, I ran!  I also went to the movies- twice! I saw Solo and Deadpool 2.  Both were good in very different ways.   I also went into Solo with very low expectations but I did like it.😀

Monday- 3.51 miles- I was a little leery of how my hips and legs would after the previous week of pain so I decided to stick to the lake path and keep things nice and easy.   Any thing more than a twinge and I was calling it and going right back to the car.  It took a long time to warm up but I felt ok and decided to do 3 laps of the lake before calling it a day.

Tuesday- Yah no-  The day went south real fast when we lost the server at work and it never came back.  Any post work plans were put on hold as I had to drive to another location to take care of some things.

Wednesday- Rest- My overly emotional day.   And there was reason I didn’t run but I can’t remember what that reason is.😛

Thursday- Rest- So, I changed into my running clothes after work and drove to the river path after work.  I was exhausted but the entire 45-50 minute drive I kept telling myself I could run a few miles.  I could.  Then I parked and the weather was just cold and miserable.  I changed into my running shoes, I grabbed my running pack and put on my hat.  But I could not make myself get out of my car.   For whatever reasons, I just couldn’t do it.  And FYI- I park in front of a friends house so if they had looked out the windows at the moment they would have wondered what the hell I was doing.   I tossed the pack into the back and just drove home.  I don’t regret it.  I later fell asleep in the chair.

Friday- Nada- Typical Friday but we were down 2 people and I was so glad that it was actually, finally Friday.

Saturday- 5 miles- After a leisurely morning, I headed out in the afternoon.   I was expecting much as I had woken with another migraine but this was a surprisingly steady run.   My pace was relatively steady and I actually had to reign myself in a few times.  My playlist playing 3 fist bumping songs in a row didn’t really help with that.  The only issue was that my stomach cramped up twice.  The odd thing was that my stomach cramped at the same geographical location but miles apart in the run.  Dude- was there something in the air?

Sunday- 3.61 miles trail– Instead of a long run, I hit the trails.   My mother and I decided to do 3 Bridges again which while nice and short does give you a good climb.   We power hiked up and then I let myself run like crazy down half of it.  I knew the pounding probably wasn’t good for my hips and I didn’t want to leave my mother far behind but I think I needed that mad moment of freedom.  Even taking a hairpin too tight and almost going off the side of the trail was fun.  Well, after I saved myself it was fun, while I was teetering I was wondering just how far back my mother was and why wasn’t I wearing neon colors? But I did not go over the side.  Yes, I realize I tend to run a little recklessly on trails- which is why I am never completely by myself.

12.1 miles for the week.  Better than last week!

How was your week?

Big Sur Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Big Sur International Marathon 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!

Race morning began dark and early.  Seriously, setting my alarm for 2:45 the night before had made me want to cry.  But, truthfully, I had slept so poorly, that I was awake before my alarm went off.   I got up and got ready, popped a Dramamine and we were out the door by 3:40.  Thanks to my hotel snafu, my mother had to get up early too and drive me to the bus pick up.   Thanks mom!

My bus ticket was pretty specific about the buses leaving by 4:15 but I was in line for almost 30 minutes and didn’t even board a bus until after 4:30.   While I was waiting in line, a guy in front of me mowed down a bagel and then a cookie.  I realize I am odd in that I don’t eat before races but I still questioned his choices knowing the road we were about to drive on.  Once on the bus, I somehow was (un)lucky enough to snag a sit with a wheel well so my knees were in my chest the whole ride.  Then I closed my eyes and tried to doze off in an effort to fight off any potential car sickness.  I know how windy Highway 1 is, combine that with a school bus and I wasn’t taking any chances.   Unlike the man who was chowing down in line who almost lost his cookies 30 minutes into the drive.   Once we arrived, we had to walk a ways up the highway to get to the starting area.  By the time I tossed my gear bag to the volunteers (literally), used the porta-potties and seeded myself in the corrals, my Garmin showed that I had walked 1.5 miles.

Being so unsure how this race would go and so nervous about the cut off, I admit I did something I never have before.  I seeded myself in Wave 2- which was for runners hoping to finish under 4:45.  I mentally needed those extra 5 minutes! I did put myself all the way to the back though because I felt guilty.   Then listening to a few runners talk about about their average times (4:00’s) and how they were just hoping to finish after driving the course and seeing all the hills the day before didn’t help calm the nerves.  But after the National Anthem- it was go time.  I was running my second marathon.  Little did I know the next hours would see both a PR attempt and my first almost DNF.

Miles 1-10- 10:19, 10:41, 10:17, 10:56, 11:23, 11:35, 12:00, 12:14, 12:27, 10:38

I was not watching my watch so I had no idea what my pace was.  I focused on keeping it comfortable.  I was enjoying the woodsy feel of running through Big Sur with all the trees along the Highway.  I was very surprised by how many people were using the port-a-potties 100 yards from the start line.   There were also a ton of guys peeling off into the woods to relieve themselves.  No fair.  As you can see by my splits, I wasn’t feeling a lot of the hills.  They were there but I didn’t walk until mile 6 and that was only because I told myself to not be stupid and tire myself out as I still had 20 miles to go.

We could now see the ocean to our left which was awesome.  I was taking water at each aid station as well as drinking from the 2 bottles I had in my pack.  I also had to pee. Crap.  But the lines were so long at all aid stations! Not only that, there were music spots set along the highway and each performer had their own port a potty too and runners were lined up at those! I didn’t want to stop yet so I just kept going.   I knew the BIG hill was coming and that could make or break the race.   We were climbing a hill in mile 8 and I heard a woman ask if this was the worst one- I was wondering if she had looked at the course map- but a man responded- yeah no.

Miles 11-12 15:04, 14:12 The Climb

You could see it coming for over a mile. Runners were sprinkled like confetti as they wound around and up.  I was torn between trying to run it and conserving energy.  As my mile splits show, I walked 98% of these miles. I had checked my overall average pace before starting the hill and it was at 11:20, these miles dropped it to 11:3something.  My Garmin says we gained 600 feet, but my Garmin is also a little screwy as it says the overall elevation gain for the race was 3000.  Strava does agree with these 2 miles though.   I just put my head down and power walked my way to the top.  The drummers almost at the top made me smile.  It also rained these miles with crazy winds- why had I tossed my gloves back at mile 5??

Miles 13-16 10:10, 11:05, 13:32, 12:59

What goes up must come down but it was a shorter downhill than I would have liked and led us right into another hill.  Smile, Fallon, you like hills.  13 also brought us to Bixby Bridge.  The day was overcast but the bridge was still pretty and I made myself slow down and take pictures- partially to prove I didn’t freak out.  😛  A camera crew and piano player were stationed on the other side of the bridge.

15 was where the pain started.  My back was hurting pretty badly but I was hoping a run/ walk strategy would loosen it up.   At 16, I checked my time and thought if I could hold onto 12:00-12:15 miles, I had a solid PR in my grasp, my back just needed to cooperate. In retrospect, that was naive and I probably jinxed myself.

Miles 17-21 13:50, 13:41, 13:39, 14:19, 14:11

I damn near quit.  The course was gorgeous, I wasn’t tired but my back hurt.  The more my back hurt, the more I walked.  The more I walked, the more my hips tightened up and my knees started to hurt.  WTH?!  I stopped twice and tried to stretch out my back.  Each time a SAG wagon drove by, I considered flagging them down.   But I kept going.  Cell service was horrible out there but occasionally texts from my mom and Kate were getting though and those were so needed.  I had also turned my music on in an effort to block out my doubts and thoughts.

Miles 22-26 14:50, 13:11, 14:47, 14:37, 14:15

They say if you don’t reach mile 21.2 by 11:50, you are not allowed to continue and are swept from the course.  To back this up, there were 3 school buses parked at mile 21.2.  I hit 21.2 at 11:15.    I’d made it this far, I was damn well going to finish.   My back was still hurting, my hips were squawking and now my feet hurt.  Around 24, I briefly considered tossing my shoes and finishing in my socks.  Couldn’t hurt any worse, right?   The course was still full of hills but in a way I think I that helped me.  I think a flat last 10 miles would have broken me, the constant up and down was at least letting me use different muscles.   However every single picture of me is from the last half of the course when I’m struggling and walking.  Thanks guys.   There was a photographer who had a sign warning that they were ahead so runners could smile- or in my case, run- so I picked it up to hobble run past him only to round a small corner and see the finish line.  RUN!

Finish- 5:36:52

Give me my medal and someone take these shoes!  Just kidding, I didn’t say that.   I thanked the volunteer for the medal-which is awesome- and smiled (grimaced?) for pictures before getting all the food treats and meeting up with my mom.

Some say that you should expect to add a minute per mile to your marathon time at Big Sur, I was only about 30 seconds each mile.   It wasn’t the race I had hoped for but it also wasn’t the race I had feared either.  I also proved to myself that first one wasn’t a fluke.   I can do hard things, just need to stop breaking myself along the way.

Maybe I’ll you see you again one day, Big Sur.