Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Weekly Fitness Recap - #2

The temperatures this week have been like a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. I'm happy that I get to run outside this week... just in time for another big cold snap! I've also introduced burpees to my occasional cross-training days.

      WORKOUT RECAP : JANUARY 7 - 13     

Day 7: Plan: 2 x 800 (or 5-6 miles)| Actual: 6.20 miles
Today I had the day all to myself with a little excitement at the beginning! The Hubs had to head out to work by 8am to be at work after getting home after 1am (life of a chef, I tell you!). Just as I about to make my turn into the park, I saw a poodle dog cross the road, but then stop. No one was around, so I made the assumption that he was out on an adventure and was questioning his choice. I pulled the car over and stepped out of the car and said, "Hi, baby" and patted me likes. He came right over. I saw that he had a tag and a number, so we got into the car and made it to the park so that I could call his humans. About twenty minutes later he was back with his owner and I ready for my run.

I ended up with a nice 10k distance for my run. I did my 1:30 intervals and it worked out well. Since it had been a while since I ran outside (Dude! This is my first run outdoors this year!) I was unsure on how to dress. I wore a tank, a long sleeve and a tee. I could've lost the tee but I never did. Since I had the delay with the doggie, I felt hungry a lot sooner than expected. I had little pretzel bites, but I'm not sure if they were the best thing to go with for fuel. Hmmm.

After my run I pretty much vegged in front of Hulu and binged on Bailey & Scott show from BBC before tidying up the home and running to the store for dinner ingredients. M actually got off of work on time for once, and it was so nice to have him home!

Day 8: Plan: XT | Actual: 15 minutes XT
This was a big day! I got up around 7 and did about 15 minutes of a workout. It basically consisted of doing some arm lifting with my kettlebell, 10 plank burpess (no pushup), and 10 horrible modified push ups. It definitely got my heart going, and I could definitely feel my abs ache a little during the rest of the day. M and I then got ready and did our adulting stuff - buy new tires for my car and go to the Social Security Office to have my name changed. Then we got to have a delicious lunch at Chuy's (it's Elvis' birthday!) and walk around the Galleria mall. Overall it was a great day! PS, we had Salvadorian Tex-Mex for dinner and I had pupusas for the first time. OMG, so good!

Day 9: Plan: 45 min run | Actual: 3.12 miles
I was so tired, but I still got out for my 5k. It was definitely slow going, but I got it done. After that, M and I picked a select number of wedding photos for a special album that our photographer is making for us! Then it's off to work. I was definitely feeling the burpees I did the other day cause when I would down a muscle in my ab would cramp!

Day 10: Plan: XT| Actual: 0 mins XT
I totally slept in. I was tiiiiired. I didn't get a workout in before heading out for the day. Total was a total test of being an adult - going to the grocery store when hungry and not just give up and eat junk food for dinner (cause I know there is puppy chow popcorn at home...). Also, a group of library friends were planning awhile ago to go rock climbing. But since two coworkers have had the flu... and who knows about the others who will be there... it's risky. I don't want to feel like a paranoid germaphob, but flu is a big thing. I have a half marathon at the end of the month that I'm registered for. Plus, I can't get M sick either! So, so far... I'm not going.

After running by the store, I made the Minestrone Soup from Shalane Flanagan's Run Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook. So good! I made some honey cornbread to go with it. So good! I love all the veggies. I'm a total veggie person!

Day 11: Plan: 45 min (or 5k run)| Actual: 4.16 miles
Omigosh! So I woke up today thinking two things...

1. It's probably cold outside and I forgot to wash my leggings last night. Then I read the weather news and it said it was in the 50s today before the temps drop with a cold front. I checked the weather. Currently a high of 57* with wind. Yeah, baby! Time for shorts and a tee (I should've picked a tank)!

2. During my coffee drinking stage of the morning, I read Hoppe Feet's article for Women's Running Mag (Four Foiled Attempts To Run the TCS NYC Marathon) that popped up on my Facebook feed. After being reminded of the lottery and time requirements for the NYC it got me thinking... Does the Marine Corpse Marathon have a time requirement. So I quickly researched it. It doesn't. It has a maintained pace requirement, which is good enough for me. I recently told Mark that I want to run the MCM some year. It's a a big goal of mine! Someday I'll do it!

I had a late start for my run, but the weather was nice. I totally got into it and ran 4 miles instead of the typical 5k. I knew I needed to push myself a little - out of the comfort zone. But also, I just didn't want to go inside. It made me sad to think that I'll have bring a coat, hat, and gloves with me for when I go home from work later tonight!

Day 12: Plan: XT | Actual: 20 mins XT
As usual... I missed my chance for a morning workout before work. I have to figure out a way to do this again. But! Since I skipped out on rock climbing after work I got home and did a 20 minute workout with my kettlebell. I'm proud to say that I did 20 burpees with little pushups! It just happened automatically! I had 2 sets of 10 reps in a sequence I made up! After that I it was dinner and binging on some of my Bailey and Scott show on Hulu. M got home around 1am or so, which I barely acknowledge cause I was already in bed.

Day 12: Rest Day
So apparently I hit stop instead of snooze on my alarm this morning, but I thankfully woke to M's alarm at 7:30. I honestly don't remember much about this day, which means it was uneventful, and perhaps a little dull!

Total Running Miles this week: 13.48 Miles 

Total Time Cross-training this week: 35 Minutes

Total Miles Cross-training this week: 0 Miles

Total Running Miles to Date: 19.75 Miles 

Total Time & Miles Cross-Training to Date: 00:55:00 | 0 Miles

 Burpees... Do you like/love them or hate them?
(I think I kinda like them!)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SDR 2018 Race Plan

Alrighty! For my accountability I'm posting my race schedule for this year! This is the minimum of what I'm doing. Buuuuut, I'm also kinda poor cause we're still paying of our part of the wedding and honeymoon (financially, weddings are no joke, people!), and I don't want to spend too much money on the races cause I also need to buy shoes! Besides, I already feel like that this is more than enough to get me back into the swing of things, and to feel like Roddy Piper's character from the movie "They Live"...

Found via https://imgflip.com/i/p4kb9

Drum roll, please.... The 2018 Races are:

Too Cold to Hold Half Marathon
January 28

Dallas Hot Chocolate Run 5k
 February 3

Cross Timbers Trail Run 5 mile
February 17

Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
March 25

Skyline Half Marathon
April 28

Badass Texas Half Marathon
May 27

Too Hot to Handle 5k
July 14

That Dam Half Marathon
October 28

A marathon - not sure which one

Wish me luck, Internet Peeps!

What's your 2018 race schedule look like? 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Weekly Fitness Recap - Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!!!

I hope that you had a wonderful and safe New Year holiday! I spent my time with the family and my husband, and it was great!

I'm mixing things up just a little in 2018. This begins with temporarily putting on hold the One Mile A Day (OMaD) tag line. I kept it going for a while in hopes that it'd keep my motivated to actually get a mile in every day, but it didn't work. Hasn't worked for a while. Soooo, I'm going to switch my usual weekly update to "Weekly Fitness Recap." If I do pick up OMaD again, I'll certainly let you know.

So! First week of 2018, and I've already been thinking about the goals for the year (thanks to my 2018 Running and Heath Goals post from last week!). The plan is to get all my races lined up for the year with the exception of my full marathon since I'm still deciding on which one to run. I'll be posting a list of my races soon enough. To recap from late last year, I'm currently doing a Galloway training schedule (1min : 1sec intervals) to get ready for the Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half that's at the end of March. Granted with my plan to add more halves to year, I'll be facing a half marathon at the end of January! Yikes!

For weekly recaps, I'll share what my expected training schedule is and what I ended up doing. I hope that this will help me keep more accountable, especially with the cross-training bit cause that has always been something for me to fall off the wagon with!

      WORKOUT RECAP : JANUARY 1 - 6     

Day 1: Plan: XT | Actual: Rest
No cross-training today. M and I were driving home from different locales when the clock turned to 12am. But we got to hang out, had a snack and watched an episode of NCIS. I fell asleep before the episode was over. I totally slept in cause, mostly unintentionally, but also because Monday is our one day off together this week.

We were trying to make plans for today that included "us time" and "family time" since my brother and his wife was in town that. Unfortunately, we ended up working around the family schedule and it comprised our "us time" and we didn't go on a date. And the "family time" didn't work out since everyone took a nap when we got there. Great. I love my family, but really? 

Day 2: Plan: 45 min run | Actual: 3.15 miles
I woke up to find that it's still cold outside. I definitely didn't want run outside just yet. Maybe later this week and next week. I was a little late getting out the door cause I was tired and cold, but I made myself go. Another 5k in the books and it took about 42 minutes and another episode of Supernatural (this is still a creepy show!). Work was after that... same type of action, but I did set out to learn some new things. My brain hurts!

Day 3: Plan: XT| Actual: 0 mins XT
So. I really did think that I would be getting up early to do some kettlebell work outs before work this morning. But as usual, I snoozed my alarm. Plus, instead of doing just 20 minutes of something to wake up and warm up with I sat on the couch with a cup of coffee and a glass of water. Yeah. Oh well. After work I met up with my family, and we all had dinner at the resturant that M works at. I was nervous that they would not like it or worse. But, it went wonderfully! M and our friend MM came out to say "Hi!" and everyone. My hubs also bad every single dish we ordered too. It really meant a lot to him that everyone came down and liked everything. My sister wasn't able to make it with us, so I need to bring her down for a meal soon. 

Day 4: Plan: 45 min run| Actual: 3.12 miles 
I woke up a little later than I wanted. I'm blaming the winter season. My weather app said it was 26 degrees and partly cloudy, and it kinda looked it. I didn't want to run in such cold weather so I dressed for the treadmill and headed out. Buuuut.... when I got outside... it wasn't that cold. And there was the sun. Dammit. I'm not going back to change clothes. So, onto the gym down the block I go. I was running on my one treadmill in the corner, with a new setting to do different elevations (including negative ones) and after 1 Mile it shut down completely. Not to be turned on again. Ugh. I moved to the next one over and finished my run without playing with the elevation.

Day 5: Plan: XT | Actual: 20 mins XT
So I made myself get up after pretty much snoozing my alarm for about 45 minutes. The bed was waaaaay comfy! Lol! But I got myself to do a mini 20 minute work of some sorts. I felt like I had no "program" to go off of. I pretty much did one rep of different things to see what worked with my kettlebell. I did this since I felt like the kettelbell workout that I know by heart is getting boring and I need to mix it up. After work I swung by my family's house to say the official "Bye!" to my brother and his wife before they go back home to Houston. Then I was home to make a yummy beef and barley stew.

Day 6: Rest Day 
Ah, Saturdays! I get to sleep in (within reasons since I do have to go to work) on Saturday mornings. I obviously took that to an extreme this morning. Little did I know that I snoozed my alarm all the way up to 7:45. I have to leave work in an hour. Surprisingly enough, since I skipped breakfast, I was able to get to work right on time. On a happier note, I feel sore in my bum and triceps, which means whatever I did Friday morning worked! This gives me confidence! The weather is looking better down here, which gives me hope that I can run 5 - 6 outside tomorrow morning! Yay!

Total Running Miles this week: 6.27 Miles 

Total Time Cross-training this week: 20 Minutes

Total Miles Cross-training this week: 0 Miles

Total Running Miles to Date: 6.27 Miles 

Total Time & Miles Cross-Training to Date: 00:20:00 | 0 Miles

Do you have any recommended workout routines for a kettlebell you can share?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 OMaD - Week 52

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! By the time you see this it'll be almost a week since Christmas. Where it the time going? Tomorrow is 2018, and I can't believe it!

Found on https://ilovetorun.org/ebibs?type=new

December 24 -30 

Day 358:  6.52 Miles - Christmas Eve Run! My training schedule had me down for 6.0 miles. I automatically decided that it had to be a 10k and tacked on the 0.20 in my head. However, when I ran further into the park I miscalculated my turnaround and I ended up at 6.52. I felt a little badass about it. It sure helped me mentally knowing that my mom was making my favorite cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and there is pie to be had too! Anyway, back to the run... It was COLD and WINDY this morning! I'm glad that I always back extra layers in the winter season and I pulled out a polar fleece vest to wear since it was windier than expected, which made the wind chill even worse! I was really glad to be back home in the warmth.

We had planned on staying home all day but the Hubs had realized that he left one of his knives at the restaurant. Even though we knew someone wouldn't take it we both knew he wouldn't rest easy until it was home. So we visited work and I got to see the kitchen and meet some of his coworker and our friend Chef MM. After hanging out there for a bit we had lunch at Waffle House. Growing up my family and I called it Awful Waffle House cause we ate their often when traveling. I couldn't remember why till later in the day. My tummy was achy. Yep. Now I remembered! So, pretty much after grabbing something more for my Dad's gift, we rested till we were hungry for our new traditional Christmas Eve dinner - Christmas Quesadillas! Then we wrapped presents while watched Home Alone, another tradition!

Day 359: 0 Miles - It's CHRISTMAS! Leading up to this day it didn't feel like Christmas even though I was surrounded by holiday music, decor, movies and wrapping paper. It just didn't feel like it. But Christmas morning, I woke up smiling! This year was my family's turn to have Christmas morning with us, so I eventually got M out of bed (I literally had to jump on the bed to get him up!) and we got ready to go. It was a great Christmas! The family had fun. After presents with my family, we drove across town to M's parents house for round two. After gifts were exchanged we also showed his parents our wedding photos. Then... it was back down to my parents' house for the rest of the day and Christmas dinner! At the end of the day we were back home. I gave our cat a catnip toy that my mother-in-law made for him (needless to say that he didn't come to bed last night... I think he was up all night!). M also gave me another gift... a Runner's World calendar and a two year subscription to RW magazine! Overall, it was great day!

Day 360: 3.14 Miles - After M went to work I got ready for my run. I wimped out on the cold and got on a treadmill at the gym. The run was definitely slow going at the beginning. I was just plain tired and I ate so much sweets yesterday (which really wasn't, but at the same time more than I should've... but it was Christmas!). Especially during the last mile I finally got into a groove. I was hoping to go with 4 miles, but mentally I don't think I could've gotten that far. Also right at the 5k mark two other people entered the gym and took it over with their music (I was listening to Netflix) and they turned off all the ceiling fans, even the one behind me... So. I was ready to go before I started to say something.

The rest of the day I was a out of sorts and tired. I managed to do the grocery shopping without the list (I lost the list, but I only missed two items!). Then I hung out with my mom and puppy for the day before heading home to make dinner.

Day 361: 0 Miles - Back to work! It was a slow day, but not as miserable as the days leading up to Christmas. After work I got to hang out with my besties for our Christmas get together! Oh, and I've been eyeing the weather since we're now in winter mode here in North Texas. So far it looks like I may have to run my 7.5 miles on the treadmill - it's showing that Sunday will have AM showers with a high of 38. Yikes! 

Day 362: 0 Miles - I totally slept in this morning, and didn't go for my run. I told myself that I could either run on the treadmill after worker later tonight or tomorrow morning since I'm free from work. Basically... when I got home... I decided to run the next morning.

Day 363: 3.11 Miles - I accidentally slept in, but since it's my day off with no plans until later in the afternoon, it was OK! I got to the park and ran my usual 5k. I work an old pair of fleece lined leggings and remembered why I didn't were them often - the waist band is thin and when I run it rides down, which makes the crotch lower itself to about my thigh unless I tug on it. Ugh!

Day 364: 0 Miles - So, I've been watching the weather for tomorrow morning. Depending on the report it's either going to be horrible with winter mix or not so horrible. I can't figure out if I need to run 7.5 inside or outside yet. We'll see what I end up doing on the last day of 2017!

Day 365: 7.58 Miles - Last run of the year!!!! I woke up half expecting freezing drizzle/flurries swirling outside my window. What I saw instead was a very grim and grey morning with strong winds. I entertained the thought of adding on about 3 layers of clothes to run outside, but I stopped myself. Nope. I was going to the gym. I hopped onto the treadmill by the window (which has been typical spot this past month), and I couldn't help but think... "Man, it isn't freezing drizzling out there so I should be running outside." But I had to tell myself to shut up. I watched two episodes of Supernatural on Netflix. Man, I tell you. I use to watch the reruns on TNT, but it's been years. Now when I watch it I go, "This is kinda creepy! Should I be watching this?" Lol!

After my run (finish time 1:43:37) and I ate a good breakfast of leftover rice, roasted sweet potatoes, red onions and grape tomatoes with two fried eggs. Yum! M didn't have to go into work until later in the afternoon so we got to watch and episode of The Punisher while we cooked some soup for later tonight and tomorrow. In the afternoon, I plan on spending time with the family!

Total Miles this week: 20.35 Miles Total

Miles to Date: 402.77 Miles Total for 2017!!! 

Do you have any Christmas traditions to share?

Catch you guys on the flip side! Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2018 Running and Health Goals

I can't believe it's that time of year again! Really? So soon? I feel like did this not too long ago, but 2017 flew by quickly! I had a good year even though it wasn't loaded with runs and races. I got married to my best friend, which is good enough for me! Now... it's onto 2018!

I've never been really successful with the whole New Year Resolutions thing, especially prior to running. Perhaps it's because I didn't have accountability and I didn't have the drive or discipline to keep it up. But I know that I have achieved some of my goals before. For example, successfully running a full marathon not once but twice so far in my running career.

Even though I wouldn't view this as a "how-to" post by any means, I do recommend that if you want to achieve something or change something in the coming year that you should...

Call it a Goal and not a Resolution 

That may not mean much, but I feel like a "goal" is more attainable sounding than a "resolution." It's like a mind trick. Just the other day I read the post, "4 Tips for Creating and Achieving Running and Life Goals in 2018" from Coach Debbie Runs, and think she explains/breaks it down much better than I ever would. Her post definitely helped me think about my goals (which I've been pondering everyone so often for the past few months). I loved how she tells you to not be afraid to pick a big goal (BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal), to break it down into smaller goals to help you get to your big goal, get accountability, and that S%*t happens.

So, what are my Goals for 2018? Let's see...

The Big Goal

Run and finish a full marathon (maybe with a PR)
Because of the crazy year of wedding planning I opted to not run a full marathon in 2017. Because I had no goal set I kinda let my training go to the side. I'm now in the frame of mind that I want to achieve another full marathon. For a long time I planned/wanted to my third marathon to be my best thus far. That means refocusing on improving my fitness and my health leading up to the big race, and being the best shape that I've been in. Hopefully with that I'll set that PR (Sub 5:50:00) since I'll be working on smaller goals to get me to this point. This may seem a bit much after almost a year sans serious running, but I'm ready to try! If not, at least I finished another marathon!

I haven't picked a marathon out just yet, but so far the BCS Marathon in December is in the running. I've also contemplated the Dallas Marathon, the Metal Saw Marathon (Kingwood), and the Route 66 Marathon. Oh, the choices!


The Small Goal Breakdown
My breakdown of my big goal is to improve myself overall. I know there are things that I need to work on to get me there. 

1. Run at least 3 half marathons races leading up to full marathon 
To date the last half marathon I ran was the 2017 Rock 'n' Roll Half in March. That was a less than stellar race because I was actually getting a cold that morning and didn't know it. The weather was hot and miserable, and the ride back on the Dart train was agonizing! Thankfully, I have a do-over chance next March with this race.

I want to run at least 2 halves before which ever marathon I choose. I'd be super excited if I can improve my finish time each time, but I'll be happy to finish strong. I've been contemplating jumping on a deal with Run Project to get discounted entry for four halves, which all would be before a December marathon. If I did that, I'd be at 5 halves, 1 5-miler, 2 5ks and 1 marathon in 2018. Am I ready for that? This is definitely something to seriously consider!

2. Improve Nutrition 
I know I set this as a goal for 2017, but I sucked at it. Like big time sucked at it. With us moving apartments in during the springtime and all the wedding planning during the rest of the year, I was stressed out and eating horribly. I tried my hardest to keep my nutrition in check, but failed miserably. After the wedding we started eating more vegetables and I was watching my portions (until Christmas came along), and I felt so good!

For Christmas I got two cookbooks - The No Meat Athlete and Shalane Flanagan's Run Fast. Eat Slow. that I've cooked from before. I'm definitely going to be utilizing my gifts to their fullest extend. Plus, I've found more blogs to read and learn from. I'm in charge of cooking at home, so it'll be my job to make sure we're eating healthy! Oh, and this includes watching my portions because... well, I married a chef after all!

3. Cross/Strength Train More
This is something I did well when I was training for my first marathon. Basically cause I had no life other than surviving work and letting running occupy the rest of my world. In 2016 for my second it was harder to do. I need to get my upper body (core and higher) into shape, which means hitting the gym and my home kettelbell a lot more. Basically, my training schedule should look like I'm doing some sort of activity every day. If I had the money and time I would consider Camp Gladiator or a real gym, but I'm poor, especially after the wedding. So, I'm determined to do this on my own capabilities and what I have for free.

4. Lose the Fluff 
Now, I know that I should not be setting a goal to basically get skinny. But that being said, I'm hoping with these other goals - improving nutrition and training better - that I'll lose some of the weight/fat that I've gain over the past couple of years. My weight has always been a troubling thing for me. I'm not fat. I'm not thin. You can tell I like my sweets. I  know I may not lose everything like I did the two years that I barely ate anything at all, but I want to trim up and look strong.

5. Remember that I'm Awesome 
I think everyone needs this goal. Every year. We all, especially us girls/ladies, need to tell and see ourselves that we're awesome and shouldn't compare ourselves to anyone else either its physically or in the realm of running achievements. I know that I struggle from time to time, especially when I know that I'm not doing so well fitness and weight wise. Some days I also feel like I'm so far behind on running capabilities because I took practically a year off from serious running compared to my running friends. So, this goal is just a reminder that I've done awesome things in the past and will always do awesome things (and, yeah, probably not-so-awesome things) in the future if I put my mind to it!

Image found on Pinterest -

My Accountability 
See Dot Run as always served as a way to have accountability, especially when I had no one else a few years back to go to. Now, I have my husband and some of my running friends along with the blog. So, I'm telling you now that you will help my stay accountable and strong!

Well, that's it. I'm gonna try my hardest to make 2018 amazing for me and my life. I know there will be ups and downs, but I'm determined. I'll say it now, by this time next year we're going to revisit this post and see how many of these things we'll cross off in success! Wish me luck!

What are you running and health goals for 2018? 

I wish you all the best in making 2018 awesome!  

Remember that you are not a failure if you did not achieve the final big goal. If you achieved even some or ALL of your smaller goals you still achieved something and you improved yourself compared to 2017. That along is amazing!


Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 OMaD - Week 51

One more week till Christmas! AAAAAAHHH! I'm not ready! We're not ready! Christmas came up just as quickly as Thanksgiving for us. It'll be the new year before you know it!

I'll have to admit that this week I struggled with keeping my sweet tooth in check, especially since I have gobs and gobs of coworkers are sharing holiday treats like its the newest trend. While I appreciate their generosity and holiday spirit, the Scrooge side of me (especially my tummy) is not entirely happy with my lack of strong will!

December 17 - 23

Day 351:  5.11 Miles - I feel like this was a solid run. I stuck to the 1min : 30sec interval running, and it worked out well. Yay!

Day 352: 0 Miles - I did about 20 minutes of strength training with my kettlebell before M woke up. Hee hee! Pretty much the rest of the day was focused on Christmas shopping for the family.

Day 353: 3.24 Miles - I woke 6am to a loud thunderclap. Since then I had trouble getting back to sleep, which completely sucked since by the time my alarm went off I was tiiired. Today was an extremely rainy day, so it was a easy treadmill run at the gym. Even though I prefer running outside, I do like the idea of catching up on a Netflix show while running too. My overall time was around 44 minutes, which is slower than usual for my 5k runs, but treadmill running is different for overall. Next time I'll have to up the speed. Also today, M started his new job! Whoo hoo! I took a picture of him before he left, pretty much just like a mom taking a picture of her kid on the first day of school. Lol! 

Day 354: 0 Miles - Rest day of sorts! I spent this morning at work getting scared about doing the Cross Timbers 5 miler in February. It's a race that my buddy HC talked me into doing (I have yet to sign up for it, but I have the day off) to get me to do something different. I'm worried it's too technical and I'll hurt myself. Or get a lost. Oh, and not to mention I have drive about 1.5 hours to get there (hopefully we'll carpool). At least it's in the winter time so there shouldn't be any bugs or snakes to worry about. Anyway, I googled the heck out of the hiking trial to get more insight, and I FB messaged the Hubs. Basically, at this point I know that I'll join the race as a way to get myself out of my comfort zone and try/learn/earn something new. It's going to be something I'll have to work towards preparing myself for.   

Image via
 Day 355: 3.12 Miles - I was up and at it a bit early this morning. I forced myself to get out of bed right at 7am. I had a deadline. Apparently, I apartment complex's power was going to shut off for an hour starting at 9:30am. That mean I needed to make sure that I was at the park by 8 to start running and give myself time to get home, eat and shower before this all happens. So! I did. My run went really well. There weren't very many people there, which was really nice. I did have to pee the entire time thanks to the fact Parks and Rec locked the bathrooms for the winter (boo!). The run itself was great, and I'm feeling like 5k is comfortable now. I average around 00:38:00 and some change finish time. I had the thoughts that I could definitely push myself on some runs to improve the time, especially since I did that at my last 5k race earlier this month. Oh, and by the way. The power never went off. Of course.

Day 356:  0 Miles - Last night I tried to make myself go to bed. I was in bed by 10pm, but I couldn't nod off. I eventually started to right when M texted he was coming home from work. But then a huge fight broke out at the corner bar and woke me up. Basically, I hung out with M while he ate and I eventually fell asleep next to him on the couch while watching a show about Bigfoot on Netflix. It was definitely close to 2am when I stumbled a comfy bed. So... fast forward, not too much, to later this morning and I snoozed my alarms so many times that I was a late for work! Needless to say, I did not get any cross-training in.

Day 357: 0 Miles - Last work day before Christmas! I couldn't wait for this day to end! I was very much a grump this morning and most of the day. What was great was my parents stopped by after they picked up their new puppy, and I got to snuggle with her for a few minutes!

Total Miles this week: 11.47 Mile

Miles to Date: 382.42 Miles

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!! 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2016 SeaWeeze... Vancouver!

Hi everyone! Again, this looooong overdue!

I read through this recap before posting, and I cannot believe that I actually did this! It was an amazing trip! I'm so thankful that my best friend JM got to go with me to cheer me on! Plus, the timing was just crazy.... Little did I know that on the Friday that I was gone, walking around the Granville Island Public Market, my main squeeze MS was designing my engagement ring! Ahh!

So here it is...

Wow! What a trip! I gotta say this was one of the craziest things I have ever done. I'm not one to typically sign up for an international race. But, in 2015 I was needing something to do completely out of the ordinary for me because I felt my life had been hell and I really needed to mix things up. So after hearing some great things about Vancouver from several people and discovering the race, I knew that the SeaWheeze Half Marathon was just the ticket!

After getting passed registration, which had sold out in 10 minutes, I was ready to go. It took a whole year of waiting and trying to prep for this! But, I'm not gonna go into that! Here was how it went!

My best friend JM, who thankfully came with me, got down to my place to have dinner with me and my boyfriend (at the time boyfriend ;-)). It was the first time she ever met him, and it went pretty well! We went to our favorite little Chinese place for deliciousness. After MS went home my mom picked up us girls to spend the night at their house.

Omigosh! It was so early when we woke up to get to the airport. Our flight was crazy early, which meant we had to be even crazier early to get through security and so on. However, when we got to DFW Airport, it wasn't bad. We already had our boarding pass and the line for security was short. We found our gate then roamed to look for breakfast. The flight to Seattle was looooong. Then we only had about 30 minutes before our connecting flight to Vancouver, but we made it right before they started to board the plane. The plane was full of ladies who would be running the half marathon. I hadn't fully grasped how popular this race would be until then.

When we landed in Vancouver, the process of going through customs was looooong (thankfully not as long as our first flight). But painless. I was nervous as all because I hate the "unknown" and people have always said that customs is a pain. After we got through we then stood inline to buy our train ticket into downtown. Oh, boy! At that point, being outside in the sunlight and cool temps, I was suddenly overwhelmed. I can't believe it! We made it! Omigosh! I almost started crying!

We took the Skytrain to downtown and walked few blocks to meet our Airbnb host, who had been waiting for about two hours since we were stuck at the aiport for a lot longer than expected.The city was so clean! The air was so fresh feeling (granted everything is once you step foot outside of an airport!).

Our host and his wife was really nice. One thing that we learned right off the bat was the HOA of the building didn't like owners to rent out their units. So we were basically snuck in from the parking garage instead of the front door where security is. The unit was so much fun! It was a studio with a great layout. The best part was the view! The bed was on a platform so that you can lay in it and still see the water out beyond our windows and the other buildings. Basically, you could also see where I would be finishing my run! Sweet! There was also this yellow chair that we both loved. It was next to the window and was so comfy! It was also cool enough that we could open the windows for fresh air!

Alone in our home away from home we quickly feel deep into a deep nap. When I woke up I was a little chilled and hungry. When JM woke, we just stared at each other from across the room. "Ramen" was what we said together when we asked what we wanted for dinner!

We walked down to Robson Street, which was just a few blocks away! We knew there were some ramen places somewhere so we explored, noted where the Whole Foods was, and finally decided on Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. It was small, and very warm in there. But the ramen was good! 

After that we went to Whole Foods to get some groceries. Note to travelers. Whole Foods is great, but pricey (I swear more so than in America) so I recommend going to a place like Urban Fare to get groceries (which we didn't know about until later). You'll find everything you need there, including American items too. After groceries, it was time to get comfortable for the night.  
Day 1 in Vancouver!

Morning! Packet Pick Up Day! And first day of exploration! First off... upside to buying eggs at Whole Foods... the freshness! OMG! The yolks were so orange it was amazingly beautiful!

After breakfast we walked long the harbor on the way to the convention center to get my packet. It was so pretty out there! The line for packet pick up was not as bad as I thought. Especially compared to the line to get into the SeaWheeze Lululemon store that was adjacent to the packet area. Holy crap! I'm glad I didn't go through with that! I knew the prices were high and the chances of finding my size could be slim. I have to say I'm not really a Lululemon person anyway. In fact, I felt like an albino, slightly-chubby giant compared to all of the other runners who were shorter and slimmer than me!

My packet was pretty cool, actually! It came in a nifty mesh duffle (which would be handy for when we fly home!), sunglasses, water bottle, Nuun (score!!), and a timing tags for both of my shoes. It was SO WEIRD not to have a bib to wear!  After we dropped the packet off at the condo we headed out towards Granville Island Public Market.

We took the metro train to the Yaletown - Roundhouse Station and walked to the waterfront. There were parks all over, which included plumbed bathrooms, which is really nice. Tip: There is a nice bathroom at the David Lam Park, which is hidden under a fountain/waterfall. We found a stop for a water taxi and hopped one. The water taxi was was fun, and a rare experience for JM and I to be on a boat! It was fun! The water taxi dropped us right off  market, which was perfect!

The Granville Island Public Market is. so. cool! It as a must-visit place whenever you are in Vancouver, I swear! I wish that my M was with us cause he would be in Heaven! There were so many fruit stalls, berries an fruits that looked so perfect and beautiful! There was also different meats and sweets. We had to buy a donut at one shop. I almost bought a cinnamon roll that was pretty much as big as my face. But I knew I couldn't get it cause I would eat it all and all that sugar would be bad for me the day before my race. For lunch, JM and I got fish and chips. It was so tasty and fish was so fresh!

We walked the whole island (thought I swear it isn't an island cause there is a park that connects it to the mainland) before we headed home for a nap. For dinner we got an order of hot food at the Urban Fare near by. I got the prime rib and fresh veggies, which was tasty, but perhaps a bit small on the serving size. We ate the dinner in the Harbour Green Park near the water, which was so nice. We definitely can't do that in Texas for most of the year!

After getting my clothes and gear all sorted out, I ate a sleepy gummy to help calm down from the excitement of the day and nerves so that I can sleep well before getting up uber early for the race. 

Vancouver Day 2 - Packet Pick-Up!

Vancouver Day 2 - Adventure!


The Race
 I woke up before dawn! I got to watch the sunrise over the harbor while I sipped my coffee! I was so happy that I had trained my body to do its business with coffee with before a run! Lol! I was nervous about the race. My main fear? That this was a girly race and I'm not girly like most of the women I saw yesterday.

I said bye to JM and was out the door. Thankfully I dressed right - tank top and shorts - for the weather! It was going to be in the mid 60s and sunny. It was waaaay cooler than Texas and naturally wanted to wear a t-shirt and capris, but I know better than that! I walked to the starting area, which was by the convention center. I hung close to a porta potty area and stretched. I didn't have to wait too too long for the staging time because I was was staying so close to the start line. I staged myself for the 02:45 pace group and tried to get into the groove with the very energetic pacers. It took a while for our group to make it to the start, but I was definitely feeling excited for being in another race and rocking out a good run!

Mile 0 - 4
Ok. So, I definitely felt the fact that I walked a lot on Friday exploring during the first few miles. My legs were sore! And in the city there are hills! Not crazy big hills, but little steep hills! I was keep pace with the group, which was nice cause they also served as tour guides! But, they weren't taking in walking breaks, which I didn't think of. Oops! Between Mile 2 and 3 I had to go pee, but I didn't want to lose the group. I waited till we were at the seawall near the area that I had walked through before. In fact, right after Mile 3 we were at the David Lam Park ... and that hidden bathroom under the waterfall. It was time to break away from the group! I wasn't the only runner who did that, and I felt a great sense of comradery with the other women cause we briefly would say something about our bladders going to explode and so on. I felt like I was part of the running community at the very moment! The Mile 4 marker represented me gong to an area that I had yet to explore during our visit!

Mile 5 - 7 
Right around Mile 5 we ran over a bridge to the other part of the city before racing to Mile 6, which as at the top of a hill! There were a lot of great spectators lone the Cornwall Ave stretch, and at the turn around were doggies to give kisses! Love! After the turn around we backtracked down the hill and back over the bridge before heading out to the famous seawall.

Mile 8 - 11
Here are my favorite things about the seawall... and, basically, what I like about the race in general... (1) It's flat! For the most part. (2) The view! I'm landlocked in North Texas. My water views consist of the lake or pond that I run around at my various parks. The views here in Vancouver... It's a bay, and beyond that.. a sea! Amazingly awesome! The beaches were so cool too. There was a sandy beach then a pebble beach too.

By this time in the race I was definitely getting tired. I would pause to take picture of cheer groups and the beach and the scenery to keep this section of the race fun. My legs were tired, but I kept going doing an interval run. Around Mile 11 or so was when the 3:00 pace group passed me. Dang it! Not much I can do about it cause if I pushed myself too early I was going to completely burn myself out. When we rounded the edge of the seawall on the other side of Stanley Park I was hit with another amazing view!

Mile 12 - 13.1 
Mile 12 was the marker that took me into the edge of Stanley Park. I knew if I had more time I would want to come back and explore the park because it looks beautiful and amazing! Mile 13 was right near the entrance of the park, but on the other side of the bridge. I messaged JM to let her know that I was close to the end. She was already somewhere near the finish line waiting for me, and tracking me on my Garmin GPS. I saw her somewhere before the finish. The pictures she took of me definitely show that my lower half was tired. My hips were at an angle, but I also look like I was finishing strong despite it. The finish was great! My overall time was 03:00:05. Not horrible!

Finisher Shoot 
After the finish I got my medal. This beauty is so heavy it could be used as a murder weapon! We had to snake our way up the ramp or the stairs to get out of the finisher shoot. I opted for the ramp, which a good idea cause I also got some other goodies like essential oil spray for pain relief and stress calming. I also got a SeaWheeze hat. I'm not a hat wearer unless I'm running, but I'll take it! I decided not to go for the Finisher Breakfast because it didn't sound very filling, and the line for it was absolutely nuts and didn't move for more than 15 minutes.

I found JM and I sat for a few minutes before I got her take my picture. Then it was back to walking up the little steep hills to the condo. I showered and JM cooked me breakfast. Then I completely passed out. On the floor. While stretching.

Vancouver Day 3 - Race Day!
Vancouver! Checkout that beauty!

The Fun After the Race!
Post-Nap adventures began. We had lots to do! Rocking a pair of bright pink shorts, a punk band t-shirt and a pair of brightly colored compression socks (I can't believe I forgot to have JM take of this outfit), I stepped out with JM, and we took the metro to Chinatown to walk around. Before we did I got some Tim Horton coffee to see what the hype was all about. Not bad! We also searched for a place to eat but couldn't find anything that jumped out at us. We walked around so much that we ended up in Gastown, which was a really nifty area! We were about to eat there, but realized that we were getting close to the last ride out to the Capliano Suspension Bridge, which was on our must-do-no-matter-what list. So we :: walked :: from Gastown towards the convention center. While we were there we got some gelato then it was back to our condo!

We refreshed ourselves and had another snack before we walked back to the convention center to catch the bus out to Capliano. It was a lot of fun riding in a big couch bus, and seeing parts of Vancouver that we wouldn't have seen on foot.

If you are ever in Vancouver, BC... you, must, must, MUST go to the Capliano Suspension Bridge. It is sooooo cool and fun! We walked across suspension bridge, which 140 meters (That's just shy of 160 feet!) long! The view from the bridge was gorgeous. There were other bridges and platforms in the trees, on the side of the mountain that were beautiful to climb and walk through. I did trip once up the stairs cause my legs were so tired, but I refused to let that bother me. We even walked across a bridge that was on a side of a cliff. Plus, it was made of glass!

The gift shop is great too, which is were spent a lot of our money. There are places to eat, but by the time we were done exploring they were closing down. Next time! The shuttle ride home was insane with traffic and bus driver who didn't care! Back in Downtown we got some pizza and headed home. I looked at my phone at the tracks movement... it says I walked and ran 22.6 miles! Crazy! Needless to say, we both feel a sleep easily that night! 

Vancouver! I had to include a picture of the gorgeous eggs!

Last day in Vancouver! We finished off our delicious and still uber fresh eggs before packing our bags. We cleaned the condo to the best of our ability before meeting up with the Airbnb host to check out. Then we walked around with our backpacks for a while.

We went to Central Library, and it was so cool! I can't even remember how many floors it had, but I believe it was 7! Wow! JM and I explored every floor. We also visited a very clean bathroom! After resting in the library for a while we went on the hunt for poutine. We knew we couldn't leave Vancouver or BC or Canada in general without trying it! After a couple fails from Yelp we found a spot and shared one. It was weird and yet tasty!

We walked back to the convention center area to rest some more. We did stop by a souvenir shop to grab a couple more presents for the family. We sat down and enjoyed the water and the breeze since we were burning out on the walking and we were tired and getting grouchy. Finally it was time to make our way to the airport. At the metro station we got some Tim Horton donuts to eat outside the airport.

Going through customs was not that bad! First we went through regular security, where I was selected for a pat down (it was bad at all and they were extremely polite and nice!!!!). After that we went through US customs, which just as easy! Whoa! Then we were in the airport, which was amazingly cool looking. Until we found our terminal. It was down a hallway. Then down an escalator. Down a hallway and up an escalator. The terminal was so tiny. And not as fancy as the rest of the airport. There was a bathroom and a little convenience store. That's it. We decided to head back to the main area for lunch (cheap Asian food!) before settling down at our terminal. We actually took a 45 minute nap before there was any action (aka other passengers showing up)!

It turns out our airplane was a little bombardier jet. With propellers! We had to walk to the plain and we were both excited and nervous! We had never been on a plane so small! It was so tiny inside! I couldn't fit my backpack in the overhead compartment by any means, but it juuuuust fit underneath the seat in front of me. We sat right below the wings, and could see the hint of the propellers. I tell you taking off and landing was an experience! Thankfully it was a short flight to Seattle!

At Seattle we were able to rest for awhile. It was getting close to midnight, and the airport was crazy busy! When we took off from Seattle, JM and I chewed on some sleepy gummies cause we had to sleep no. matter. what. I'm so glad that MS told me that this was absolutely necessary... otherwise we would've been screwed!

By the time we landed back home, our bodies thought it was 4:30 in the morning, but it was really 7:30am local time! Somehow we managed to find a way out of the concourse and found my mom! Then we had to find her car in the parking garage. Then it was home! We got JM some Starbucks coffee and food before she had to drive all the way back to Denton to get a training day session (she's a rockstar for pulling that off!).

I took a shower at my apartment before driving over to M's for breakfast. It felt amazing to be back with him and in his arms! (Yeah, that was a little mushy!). He made me breakfast before I completely passed out on his couch for a couple of hours. Haha!

Vancouver! Poutine and a propeller jet!

Well, that is is in a nutshell. Looking back, as I :: finally :: finish typing this post, it was an amazing trip! The trip was something that I really needed. It was an adventure. Finishing the race and coming home was almost like ending a chapter of my life that I started in 2015 before I met MS. It was a time for me and my bestest friend in the world to have an amazing time together. Vancouver is definitely on my list of favorite cities!

I do plan on going back to Vancouver for just a vacation even without a race. I would totally run along the seawall again. Just for fun!