What’s Next?

It’s been three weeks since I ran my marathon, and I forced myself to do two things over the past few weeks. The first thing was to let my body heal and recover. I had been training hard since January and I never gave my body a break between Medina Half training and Wineglass. I knew that I had been playing with fire going that hard, for that long without cutting back. So I’ve taken time to cut way back on mileage and catch up on things I missed while I was training, like happy hours, sleeping in, and the dvr.

 

The second thing I did was not let myself register for any races. After running Wineglass, I was an emotional rollercoaster. I wanted to sign up for every race around for redemption including another marathon. But I wouldn’t let myself, both for my sanity and my wallet. Now that I’ve had time to step back, relax, it’s time to re-evaluate and decide what my race schedule will be like over the next two months.

 

So I’ve collected a list of races that have caught my eye and I can spend the next two months enjoying some time on my feet and maybe even chase down a PR.

 

 

November 22nd – Devil Dash 5k

November 23rd – Cleveland West Fall Classic Half Marathon

November 27th – Hinckley Turkey Burner 5k

November 30th – Buckeye Woods 25k/50k

December 6th – Christmas Story 5k/10k

What races will you finish 2015 with? Am I missing any good races around the Cleveland area?

 

Wedding Wednesday

I always looked forward to the day I could write up my Wedding Wednesday posts, and now it’s finally here. And while my blog is mostly about running, planning a wedding will be a huge part of my life over the next year, and will take the place of some races and workouts. I promise not to bore you too much, and if you don’t have interest, you can pass over these posts. But once a month I’ll post an update and if you’ve been in my shoes, maybe you can help me learn to relax….

How We Met

Let’s start from the beginning. In August of 2009, I attended the MBA open house at Baldwin Wallace University (then College). We had about 10 minutes before the presentation began, and so I mingled with two youngest people there, one of them being Darren. We ended up sitting next to each other, spoke briefly, and as the open house ended, we went our separate ways.

Fast forward to January of 2010. I was enrolled in BW, and attended an evening where we could pick up our schedules and books. Not recognizing anyone, I was relieved when I saw the familiar face of Darren. We spoke momentarily and found out we had the same two classes together. At this point, I knew there was something different about him, and I was looking forward to getting to know him over the next semester.

Over the next couple of weeks we got to know each other a little better as we worked in groups in our two classes. Right before our spring break I sent a text to Darren, asking if he’d like to get drinks. He responded, “How about dinner?” We went to a Japanese steak house, and after 5 hours of taking, eating and drinking, I knew he was the one.

And so over the past 4.5 years, we finished out grad school, took numerous vacations, moved in together, bought a house, and have built our relationship to where it is now.

How He Proposed

Last month we took our 6 day trip to San Francisco and Napa. Our first day in Napa was incredible, as we had a tour guide drive us to four different wineries, supply lunch and tell us facts about the area that was so new to us. Throughout the trip, I had taken more than 300 pictures, so naturally I spent a lot of time at each winery wanting my picture taken, or taking pictures of the vineyards.

As we made our way to our third winery of the day, I instantly loved the choice of wines they offered. With a variety of whites, it was easily my favorite of the day, and the vineyard itself had so many neat sculptures that it was hard not to enjoy the views. Apparently I took too much time, and as Darren was planning on proposing, we were rushed to the bus to move onto our fourth and last winery of the day.

Throughout the entire trip, I couldn’t help but think that there were so many spots that would have been perfect for a proposal. By this point, I was a few drinks in, and it was suddenly the last thing on my mind. We came across the final winery, and it was a quaint little building with absolutely beautiful cabinetry. I spent a good 10 minutes discussing the color of the cabinets and finishes, planning out a kitchen remodel while Darren was planning his next move. After a few tasting of some excellent Chardonnay (my least favorite white), Darren suggested we take pictures outside.

We made our way outside and the tour guide took a view pictures of us in front of the vineyard. I was done with pictures, but Darren asked that he take one more. As he was taking the final picture, Darren pulled away and got down on one knee. From this moment, my mind still doesn’t remember every detail, but I know I said “Are you serious” about 20 times. I was in complete shock, and disbelief that it was finally my time to become engaged.

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So here we are, 10 months from getting married…and I can’t wait!

Wineglass Marathon Recap

For the past 18 weeks, my training was focused on one race, one goal, and one day that would mean everything to me. Settle in and get comfy, because the recap of Wineglass Marathon is going to be a long one…

First, let’s back up to why I chose Wineglass as my marathon. Growing up, my family took a few vacation trips to the Finger Lakes Region of New York. We’d spend a week traveling the area, visiting wineries, and spending time in cities like Watkins Glen, Corning, and Elmira. My favorite was always Corning, mostly because of our visits to the Corning Glass Museum. We’d spend a day watching the glass blowers make glass, tour the museum and dine at their cafe.

About two years ago, I saw that there was a half marathon that went from Bath to Corning, the Wineglass Half Marathon, and I knew I had to place it on my 25 Challenge list. After my training went poorly for Akron, I entertained the idea of running the full instead of the half for Wineglass, but never gave it too much thought. But during a Friday morning run with some MCRR members a few days before Christmas, my mind was set. A few mentioned they were thinking of running Wineglass, and suggested that I run it too. I went back and forth, wondering if I’d really want to train and run another full. A few weeks went on, a few more MCRR members registered for Wineglass, and on January 11th, I pulled the trigger and registered for the full.

And so he were are, fast forward 10 months, and I began marathon weekend all over again. Saturday morning we began our drive to Corning, NY. What was supposed to be a 4.5 hour drive, turned into a 6.5 hour drive. The closer we got to Corning, I started to remember the views, and the rivers and everything I missed about the area. Even though it was cold, and would remain cold the entire weekend, the views were absolutely amazing. The ridges were covered in trees ranging from green to orange to yellow to red, it was perfect fall weather, and made all those humid, early weekend runs worth it.

Packet pickup was at the Glass Museum and I was beyond excited to pick everything up. We got a long sleeve tech tee, reflective drawstring bag, a wineglass, and a small bottle of Champange from a local winery. Seriously, best swag bag ever! I made my way around the small expo, only picking up a tank top, shorts and a long sleeve thermal. Because the expo was at the museum, once you picked everything up, you could tour the shops and museum free of charge. We only had a short time, but all the memories of my childhood came back, making the already exciting day, that much more meaningful.

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After the expo, we stopped at our hotel, relaxed for a bit, then made our way to downtown Corning for dinner. On our way, we ran into Mo and Michelle, which was great to see familiar faces so far from home. We stopped at Market Street Brewing Company, which had wonderful food, perfect pasta to carb load the night before the race. We finished up, ran to Walmart for heavier throw away clothes, and then I got ready for bed.

Marathon eve...quiet on the streets

Marathon eve…quiet on the streets

With a late start of 8:15, I slept in until 5:30. Although I was in bed by 10, I woke up every half hour throughout the night, and had more than a few nightmares about the race, so starting out, I was already really tired. I got dressed, forced myself to eat more than I wanted, and tried to relax before the start. This year, it was mandatory for all runners to take busses to the start, so Darren dropped me off at the bus, and I waited in line about 10 minutes before taking the bus to Bath.

Race day sunrise

Race day sunrise

Throughout the half hour drive, my emotions were all over the place. I was nervous, excited, doubting myself, relaxed, and not really sure what to expect. As soon as we got off the bus, I waited in line for the bathrooms. It was chilly, right around 30 degrees, and everyone was huddled, waiting in line. Once I got out of line, we heard that the race would be delayed a bit because more busses were still on their way. I managed to find an entrance to a building, and huddled close with about 30 other runners. As the start got closer, I used the bathroom again, slowly took off my throwaway clothes, and made my way right between the 4:15 and 4:30 pace group.

The starting line was very crowded, and the pace groups were close together. I was hoping that once the race started they would spread out more. Instead, the pace groups started to speed ahead, and I saw the 4:30 group sprint ahead. Knowing I would be running my own pace, I wanted to stay between the two groups, so once I saw the 4:30 group pass me, I started to question my own pace.

Start line

Start line

I made my way through the first two miles, trying to find an even pace of around 10:00 minutes. I was a little fast, but so were all the pace groups. I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but it was certainly a mind game. Despite being cold, my legs felt good, I was starting to loosen up and I was feeling pretty confident.

Mile 1-9:49
Mile 2-9:57

I continued along at a pretty steady pace and took in the sites of Bath. I wanted to stick to a strict fueling plan, so at every mile I took some water, making sure to stay hydrated. I was still just under a 10:00 pace, and was trying to slow myself down.

Mile 3-9:52
Mile 4-9:53

We continued along and the group around me was staying together nicely. There were a few that would speed up, but for the most part, we were a nice little pack. I knew the first hill would be coming up around mile 5, so I tried to conserve some energy, but I just couldn’t slow down. At mile 4 I took my first sport beans, and planned on sticking with the same flavor the entire race.

As we approached the hill, I tried to slow down so I wouldn’t use too much energy early on. The hill was a little longer than I expected, but I made it through and didn’t feel too fatigued. My hips however were a little tight and wouldn’t let go once I got to the top. I moved over to the side of the road, hoping that running on the crushed ground would help a bit.

Mile 5-9:58
Mile 6-9:54

It was about this time that another runner appeared next to me, walking about 20 feet, then running 50 feet. She shuffled next to the cones, and kept running to pass people and then stopping right in front of them. I tried to get ahead of her, but she kept up her walk/run pace….for the next two miles! This wouldn’t have been a problem, but she kept stopping in front of people, which made for some frustrating miles.

Mile 7-9:58
Mile 8-10:03

We continued on, and I was still on pace. We made it to mile 8 and I took my second set of Sport Beans. I was feeling ok, but I noticed that my miles started to slow down at this point. My hip was finally back to normal, but I couldn’t help but worry that something would go wrong. I tried to take in the views to distract myself from thinking of the race. Some views were beautiful, with farmland and rolling hills, some not so much, like when we ran next to the highway. But still, I was thankful to be out there, knowing the views and the weather could be much worse.

Darren said he’d try to be around mile 9, so I tried to keep a lookout for him as we got closer. As we approached mile 9, I saw Darren and couldn’t help but get excited. I was still on pace, feeling pretty good, and was glad that he had made it out to watch me go by.

Right on pace!

Right on pace!

Mile 9-10:08
Mile 10-10:08

I made the turn and followed the road, continuing my way to mile 10. By this point, my bladder was starting to fill up, so I knew I’d need to stop soon. Once I got to mile 10, I stopped at the port-a-potty. With my 4:22 goal, I didn’t factor in bathroom stops, so I tried to keep track of the minutes. 2:00 minutes at the beginning of mile 11, I’d still be good with a 4:24.

I continued on my way, a little disappointed that I stopped, but knew that it was necessary. The weather was starting to warm up, but not too warm where I felt uncomfortable. Somewhere between mile 11 and 13 I started to hit my first wall. I knew that once I made it to the halfway point I’d be fine. I tried to push out any negative thoughts and continued on my way. During mile 12 I recognized a purple and orange shirt. I ran next to the woman, and she asked me if I was from Medina, Ohio. I told her yes, and instantly we remembered running with each other during the long run that Active runner hosted. We agreed that we were having a harder time than we thought, and we would push each other through.

Mile 11-12:01
Mile 12-10:12
Mile 13-11:21

We made it just past the halfway spot until I stopped at a water stop to refill my water. She went ahead and that was the last time I ran next to her. I was now in the mindset that I had less to run than I already have, and maybe my pace and time wouldn’t be too bad, I just had to keep up my current pace.

I got to mile 14 and saw Darren, let him know I was having a bit of a hard time, and he said I was doing good and he’d see me at the finish. It was enough motivation to keep me going, but deep down I knew I was starting to wear down. I started to enter a dark mile, I questioned if I could keep running, if I could finish, and how I was able to run my long runs so perfect, yet here I was struggling at mile 15. I’ll be honest, I wanted to quit, I didn’t want to be out there anymore. But I had come so far, I had worked so hard all year, I didn’t want to disappoint myself.

Mile 14-10:34
Mile 15-11:01

Approaching mile 16, I started to feel sick, I was a little light headed, worn down, and I had an odd  pressure just under my rib cage. I remember the pain, just like I had during the end of the River Run. I didn’t want to get sick this far from the finish, but knew that if I did, it was something I couldn’t control. Luckily, I got to the water stop, stopped for the bathroom and refueled on Sport Beans. I walked for a bit after the stop, hoping that everything would be back to normal. I started to feel better and continued on my way. I only had 10 miles left now, and I knew I had to make it through them.

Mile 16-14:35

The next couple of miles were a blur. I tried to envision running mile 17-20 at Buckeye Woods where I had such strong finishes. This was also around the time where I started to run/walk/shuffle. My body was breaking down and I wasn’t sure if I was more uncomfortable running or walking. I felt so stupid for walking, knowing that I’ve never needed to in my long runs, so why would I know. Again, the feeling of self doubt kept popping up, comparing my training runs to the race. I do remember that once I hit mile 19, a volunteer made me cry, she said, “You’ve made it to mile 19, you’re doing so good!” It was exactly what I needed to hear despite how bad I was feeling.

Mile 17-11:30
Mile 18-12:31
Mile 19-11:32

Once I hit mile 20, I started to countdown how much I had left. I focused on taking it mile by mile, running, walking or doing whatever I could to make it through. I think it was around this time that I stopped for a port-a-potty again, but by this point, I wasn’t keeping track of how many minutes I was losing. We were getting closer to the finish, and I could feel myself start to become more excited. Mile 21-22 we made our way through a park, and with the slightest downhill I started to have more energy. I didn’t want to push it too much, but I felt like I was doing better than before.

Mile 20-15:20
Mile 21-13:48
Mile 22-14:59

I continued drinking water at every mile, and now started every half mile or so. I was also trying to run at least ¾ of each mile and walk about ¼ of each mile. Again, my body was uncomfortable doing both, but as long as I kept moving forward I was ok. With four miles to go, I was at 4:22, the time I wanted to finish. It was heartbreaking, knowing how far I still had to go, but knowing that in this moment, my goal times weren’t in the cards. At this point, all I wanted to do was finish in one piece.

I started to break down again at mile 23, frustrated with how I was doing compared to my training, worried that I would be a complete failure. I also made a note to never let myself sign up for another marathon, that I wanted nothing to do with this distance again.

Mile 23-12:29
Mile 24-13:47
Mile 25-13:56

The last few miles, were really just pitiful. I watched the minutes go by as I continued on my way, hoping that the last mile marker would show up shortly. I watched my Garmin hit 5 hours and was devastated. I was well beyond my goal time, and gave up all hope in my race. Until I hit mile 26. We ran across the bridge into town and I knew it wouldn’t be much further until I would cross that line. For the first time in many miles, I knew I was actually going to finish this race. As I came off the bridge, I saw a few MCRR members to my right cheering me on. I started to tear up, knowing I had such great support even in my darkest times of running. A few feet later, I heard another cheer, my orange and purple shirt friend (so sorry, I don’t remember your name!) from Medina, and I was so happy to see she made it.

So close, yet so hard

So close, yet so hard

Mile 26-14:00

With the moments of encouragement, I started to pick up  my pace, as much as you can by that point, and turned onto Market. I could see the finish line down the road, now I just needed to make it. I put one foot in front of the other, pushing all negative thoughts out of my head. As I got closer, I told myself, that this was my race, my marathon, my day that I worked so hard towards. Naturally, I made myself cry. I heard someone come up behind me, and gave it everything I had. Tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, I finished the marathon feeling better than I had all morning.

Last .4-10:34 pace

Crossing that line...best feeling in the world

Crossing that line…best feeling in the world

I almost got sick after I crossed the line, so I got some water then went to get my medal. As the volunteer was putting on my medal, I cried again. I never wanted something so bad, and I had finally made it. I got in line for my finishers picture, and started to tear up again. But it wasn’t until I finally saw Darren that I let it all out, and I was a mess.

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18 weeks of training, 403 miles, numerous early morning Saturday runs…I finished my second marathon in 5:06:43, a 21 minute and 27 second PR.

It took me all week to think about Sunday morning, to really process what happened and how I feel. When I crossed that finish line, I promised myself I’d never run another marathon again. I didn’t enjoy it, and I was miserable for half of the race. But I was also disappointed in myself, in my legs, in my mind, for letting negative thoughts in, and keeping me from running to my full potential.In my heart, I know I can run faster than 5:06, but on Sunday, it just wasn’t my time.

Race swag

Race swag

I’m finally proud of my 5:06, it took a while, but I know I gave it everything I had on race day. I’ll get my 4:30, and when I do, I’ll officially retire from marathons…..

Cheers to 26.2!

Cheers to 26.2!

Official Results

Time: 5:06:43

Age Group 25-29: 131/166

Female: 911/1174

Overall: 1610/1962

 

September Rewind

One of my favorite months has come and gone, but before recapping the marathon, it’s time to look back at the past month.

Miles run: 89

Races run: 2 (River Run Half Marathon, SF Aloha Run 5k)

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: 9/16 – 10×800 repeats

Books read: Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me?

Place traveled: San Francisco & Napa, California

This month’s mileage was lower than the previous months, but mostly because of taper. I definitely missed the challenge of hitting another 100 mile month, but by the end of the month, my legs felt fantastic. Hitting almost 90 miles was a stretch in the past, so it feels good that I was able to get it even while cutting back on mileage.

I ended up racing twice this month, one a half marathon, and the other a 5k. The River Run Half has always been a favorite of mine and I was excited to have a chance at it again. I ended up with a 2:01, and it was hard to believe, but it was my 20th half marathon! My other race was a 5k in San Francisco, and even though it wasn’t my best, it was great to race along the Golden Gate Bridge and change up the scenery of my normal races.

Despite spending half of the month in taper, I had a fantastic track workout, which turned into one of my favorite workouts. My final hard workout was my last set of 800 repeats, all 10 of them. I hit the splits exactly where I wanted them, and even finished the last one in 3:34, something I definitely didn’t expect.

September also brought a vacation, where I knocked out Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? during the flights, which was absolutely hilarious. We spent time in San Francisco and Napa, enjoying the sites, nature, wineries and more importantly, getting engaged! It was a wonderful trip, and I definitely recommend visiting them both.

So September ended up being a pretty great month, and it will be pretty hard to top. October brings the marathon, cooler weather, and picking out what races I’ll be running next!

How was your September? What big plans do you have for October?

Wineglass Marathon Goals

Marathon weekend is finally here and I can hardly believe it. I remember signing up in January, wondering if I’d regret the decision. Ten months later and I couldn’t be more excited! I feel so much more prepared this time around, and knock on wood, I made it through the training cycle uninjured.

This cycle was completely different than any other. Knowing the marathon isn’t a race I can easily jump into, I wanted to make sure my training would be the best yet. I based it lightly off Runners World Smart Coach and altered to fit my schedule and capabilities. This is what I did differently this time around:

  • Alternated shoes. I had two pairs of shoes that I would alternate so not to break down one pair right before race day.
  • Track Tuesday’s. I really focused on my speed workouts this time and successfully made it through those Yasso 800’s!
  • Switched terrain. I ran pavement, trails, sandstone, gravel and this helped tremendously. Rather than beat my legs on pavement for 18 weeks, softer surfaces were perfect for recovery.
  • Group runs. I ran most of my runs with MCRR and Second Sole. This helped with motivation and I was able to push myself into paces I was too afraid of before.

And so now for my goals. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what will happen race day. Weather is projected with a low of 35, high of 57, and possible light rain, so pretty much perfect conditions. I know I can run a 10:00 minute pace for my first 20 miles, it’s the last 6.2 that I’m nervous about. And of course, you never know what could happen on race day.

Goal A: 4:22. If I can keep a perfect 10:00 pace, I think I can hit this. It’s a stretch, but it’s worth thinking of. I’d like to think that if I don’t get it this time  it will be my goal for my next marathon.

Goal B: 4:30. More realistic, this would be almost an entire hour off my PR. I’ve worked hard enough that I think this is the most realistic goal and should be obtainable even if I slow down off the 10:00 minute pace.

Goal C: 4:45. This is my what-if-my-stomach-acts-up goal. I can still keep a decent pace and land just about 45 minutes under my PR. I’d prefer not to be near this time, but there is always a chance it could happen.

My A goal may be a little too quick than what I can do, but a girl has to dream. I’ve put in the work, pushed myself harder than ever before and really think I can drop some major time off the marathon.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in the last 18 weeks. It’s been a long road but I couldn’t have made it this far without my friends, family, and MCRR. So here’s to 18 weeks of training, it’s time to take on Wineglass!

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Vacation Part 2: Napa

There was no doubt that while visiting San Francisco we’d spend time in Napa. We decided on two days, and wanted to visit as many wineries as we could. Napa held up to and surpassed my expectations, and I almost can’t believe we spent a few days in such a beautiful place.

Sunday:

We drove up to Napa where we spent the day on a wine tour. Rather than worry about who would drive, we joined Platypus Tours, who picked us up, drove us around, fed us lunch and dropped us back off after the tour was done. They took us to four small wineries and each was unique in it’s own way.

Welcome to wine country!

Welcome to wine country!

So much wine, so little time

So much wine, so little time

Leave me here all day

Leave me here all day

Last winery made for a memorable one!

Last winery made for a memorable one!

Wineries we visited:

Judd’s Hill Winery- Our first stop on the tour with some beautiful views. We tried mostly reds, which I wasn’t a big fan of, but the whites were pretty good.

Rutherford Grove- This place reminded me of a cottage nestled in the woods. The views were pretty and the picnic our drive prepared for us was spot on. The wines were mostly red, so I didn’t enjoy the wine too much at this one.

Hagafen Cellars- This was my favorite winery because they had a large selection of whites. The winery had a unique feel but was also very cozy.

Razi Vineyard- The last stop for the day was very chic, but private. It was again mostly reds, but I surprisingly enjoyed a Chardonnay, a wine I typically don’t like. This winery will always hold a special place in our heart because it’s where we got engaged!

Where we ate:

Ristorante La Strada- A celebratory dinner with some delicious pasta and local wine. The service went above expectations when our taxi driver never showed up, so our waiter ended up driving us back to our hotel. Risky, but we survived.

Monday:

Monday was our second day in Napa, but since we were up so early, we started with the Jelly Belly factory before visiting some more wineries.

Quick tour and time to stock up!

Quick tour and time to stock up!

The view at Artesa....I could live here

The view at Artesa….I could live here

Mountains and wine..these are a few of my favorite things

Mountains and wine..these are a few of my favorite things

Jamieson Ranch, metal horse included

Jamieson Ranch, metal horse included

Wineries we visited:

Artesa Vineyards & Winery- Everything about this place was amazing. The views where breathtaking and the wine was our favorite of the entire trip. We could have easily spent all day there.

Etude Wines- This winery was decent, but it was probably our least favorite of the day. It didn’t have a warm, welcoming feeling, but I was able to find some pretty good Pinot Gris.

Jamieson Ranch- This winery was beautiful and had some amazing views. We both enjoyed many of their wines and learned about the new trend of wine on tap. (Note to self, add one when we remodel the kitchen).

Where we ate:

The Market at Caneros Inn- We stopped here for a light lunch after visiting Artesa. Everything was healthy, and some of their food was even grown outside of the store, which was pretty neat.

After we finished our wine tours, we headed to the hotel, dropped of our rental car, and sadly got ready to leave. Without a doubt, I couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. Next time we go back, we want to spend more time in Napa, two days just isn’t enough. I’ll be counting down the days until I’m back in wine country sipping on my wine….

 

Vacation Part 1: San Francisco

A little over a week ago, we packed up our bags and headed to the West Coast for a six-day vacation in California. Luckily vacation lined right up with taper, so I didn’t feel too guilty about getting away. We flew in Thursday, spent the first couple days in San Francisco, and then finished out the trip in Napa. Rather than write a novel, I’ve picked my favorite pictures throughout our trip.

Thursday

Spent the night in Pacifica, but unfortunately no time to explore

Friday

Toured the city of San Francisco by GoCar Tours. I was definitely shocked by how much I enjoyed it, and within the time frame of a normal work day, we saw every major point of the city and a few hidden gems. I’d definitely recommend looking into this if you visit a city where it’s available.

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A must stop while touring the city

Our little GoCar to tour the city

Our little GoCar to tour the city

This beautiful view

This beautiful view

Another must see

Another must see, but no sighting of the Tanner family

Where we ate:

Fly Bar & Restaurant- We stopped here for a light lunch and the food was just right. It had a fun atmosphere, and great service.

Saturday

We used Saturday as a way to explore the outer limits of the city. We started the day with my Aloha Run 5k, and then headed up to Muir Woods to check out the redwoods and take some time to explore nature.

Massive beauties

Massive beauties

7.5 hours of these wonderful trails

7.5 hours of these wonderful trails

Top of the trail views

Top of the trail views

Surreal views

Surreal views

Where we ate:

Alioto’s Restaurant- I had some high expectations going into this restaurant based on the menu and the fact it was in the heart of Fisherman’s Warf. Unfortunately, the service was horrible, and the food wasn’t anything to be excited about. Maybe it was an off day for them, but I wouldn’t go back anytime soon.

Where we stayed:

Inn at Oyster Point- I picked this place for two reasons, it had a running path and the funky decor. Both did not disappoint, and surprisingly, the restaurant/bar attached had some amazing seafood as well. It was a fun hotel, and I’d definitely go back to it again.

The two days we spent exploring San Francisco were amazing. Even though our vacation still had a few days left, it was already the best vacation we’ve ever had. The city has so much to offer and exploring the trails made me feel healthier than I have in a long time. If it’s not already on your list, you should certainly add San Francisco to you bucket list.

Stay tuned to hear about the second half of our vacation….Napa!

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Seventeen

This week I fully took advantage of taper. We were on vacation still Monday and Tuesday, so with limited time and daylight, workouts didn’t happen. Wednesday’s workout didn’t happen either, so by Thursday I was craving a hard run.

Thursday I got the chance to run with Second Sole, and it felt great to push myself just a little past the comfort zone. We ran Roscoe which always becomes harder than you expect with the rolling hills. I felt great, pain free, and my legs finally started to not feel so tired.

Friday was a rest day, but Saturday was my last “long” run before the marathon. I met up with Mallory and we ran 8 miles on Lester. Weather was perfect and the trail felt pretty good on my legs for most of the run. I wasn’t feeling too motivated, but we pushed each other, and kept up a pretty decent pace.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 8 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 12.4 Miles

I dropped the ball this week with my workouts, and I know I should have spent more time on my feet. It was a hectic week, and life happens. Hopefully the extra rest will help my legs feel fresh on race day.

So with this, the second week of taper is over, and just one week stands between myself and the marathon! I’m excited and nervous, and still can’t believe it’s almost here. It’s be a long training cycle, but I can’t wait to see what my legs do on race day.

SF Aloha Run 5k Recap

While we were on vacation, I had hopes of running some sort of race. Luckily I found a 5k in San Francisco and I jumped at the chance to run somewhere new. I didn’t have a goal for this race, I really just wanted to get some miles in and enjoy the new scenery.

Saturday morning, I woke up extra early due to the time chance. We got ready, packed up the car, and headed to the other side of the city. We got there about 45 minutes early, picked up my packet, and relaxed until the race started.

Saturday morning, just hanging out at the bridge.

Saturday morning, just hanging out at the bridge.

Pre race was well run, and I really appreciated that they had pace groups, those 10:00 and under, 11:00-13:00, followed by those with dogs and strollers. I lined up where I estimated the 8:30 pace would be. I didn’t want to go out too quick, so I figured I’d play it by ear.

Ready to race!

Ready to race!

We were off and I was excited to run. The map showed a loop around Chrissy Park and a second half lap to the finish. We started on a sand/gravel path and it felt wonderful on the legs. I settled into a nice pace of 8:30, making sure I didn’t go out too quick. The loop took us towards the Golden Gate Bridge and I couldn’t help but get distracted by the views.

We continued along and made our first turn down the side of the park. About a half mile in, my stomach started to grumble and I realized I was suddenly starving. I also noticed that even though the weather was cool, the fog brought a moist feeling with the air.

Miles 1-8:32

We came up to the first mile and I was feeling pretty confident in my pace. A short while later I passed Darren, who I’m sure was thrilled he got dragged to another race of mine.

Working hard after mile 1

Working hard after mile 1

We continued along with what felt like the longest stretch of pavement. I started to wear down, and my pace slowed a bit, but stayed around 8:45-8:50. The hunger feeling and humidity/moist air was really playing minds games on me, and I struggled to stay focused.

Mile 2-8:47

We made the turn heading to mile 2 and I knew I could handle another 9 minutes of running. This part of the course we ran along the beach, so we dodged sections of sand and gravel. We also passed the water stop, but no one stopped, which actually surprised me.

We approached the turn off for the final half mile, and everyone noticed a giant banner that had “finish” written across it. We were only at 2.7 so I was slightly concerned until we got closer and realized it was for another event. This threw a bunch of people off, most of them had given their final kick and had nothing left for the real finish.

Mile 3-8:50

We made another hairpin turn and I started picking people off, mostly those who had just pushed it at the fake finish. My pace started to pick up and I finally felt like I was running like I should. I made the final turn into the finish and gave a decent kick to cross the line of my first California 5k.

Last .14-8:49 pace

Final kick

Final kick

Overall I thought this was a fun race. I didn’t really have a plan, and knew that since I was on vacation, I wouldn’t be taking it too seriously. I didn’t have my best performance, but with traveling and enjoying vacation, it didn’t really bother me. I also checked my Garmin data after the race, and noticed that it was a gradual uphill the entire way, which is why I probably didn’t run as well as I thought I could.

After the race there were vendors, a kids run and a few more local events. I picked up my shirt, bag and medal post race and took a few more pictures before packing up and heading on our day trip to Muir Woods.

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My favorite part of the race, and really the reason I signed up was the race swag. Not only did we get shirts with the Golden Gate Bridge printed on them, but we got matching bags and medals. A great race, a great location, and a fun way to enjoy vacation!

Golden Gate gear!

Golden Gate gear!

Official Results:

Time: 27:21

Female: 23/232

Overall: 71/384

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Sixteen

The first week of taper is complete and half of it was spent on vacation. This wasn’t originally planned, but when everything aligned about a month ago, it seemed that taking a vacation would be the best way to kick off taper and reward myself for all the hard work I’ve done.

I’m done lifting for the training cycle, so my first workout started Tuesday. I had my final set of 800 repeats. I got a little carried away on my first one, but I was able to settle into a comfortable pace and was feeling pretty strong. By the time we got to the second half of the workout, the sun was setting pretty quickly, and we ended up running the last 3 in the pitch black. I’ve definitely learned to love the 800 repeats and this workout was no exception!

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Track essentials

Wednesday I took off to do last minute things, but Thursday I did a morning run before we left on vacation. I headed to the trail and zoned out. It felt great to fully relax and enjoy the start of the day.

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Friday I had hoped to run in the morning after we landed in California, but unfortunately, we were tight on time, and I didn’t feel comfortable going out by myself in the dark. Saturday however, I was finally able to get some miles in. I found a 5k a few weeks ago, and registered for it before we left. So Saturday morning, we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge and I ran a 5k. I’ll have my recap up later this week.

Not my typical morning run view

Not my typical morning run view

After the run we had a chance to head up to Muir Woods and hiked 7.5 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect and the views were breathtaking. It was definitely a hard workout at times, and there was a ton of vertical, but it felt great and I was able to spend a decent amount of time on the trails.

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And I finished out the week with a run outside of our hotel on Sunday morning. I surprisingly felt pretty after the previous day’s hike. The hotel we stayed at had a 6 mile loop around the harbor, which was perfect for a safe trail and some beautiful views.

Harbor views

Harbor views

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 7 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 10×800(3:59, 4:07, 4:04, 4:00, 4:05, 4:06, 4:02, 3:57, 3:55, 3:34), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 2.4 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Aloha Run 5k + 7.5 Miles of hiking

Sunday: 3 Miles

Total Miles: 15.4 Miles Running, 7.5 Miles Hiking

So there we have it, week 1 of taper is complete. I definitely had a chance to relax and let my legs recover from the hard training cycle. I didn’t get in as many miles as I had hoped, but traveling makes it hard to get everything done. The views were amazing, and I’m glad I got to spend time in new locations. My only complaint was the sun didn’t come up until late, so with a busy schedule, I was limited on outdoor running when it was light. But still, running and hiking around San Francisco was definitely a great way to begin taper!