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?

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!

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!