Running the Weekend & LA Adventures (Half Marathon Training Days 63 and 64)

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday night! This weekend went by so fast – but at least, tomorrow is a holiday! 

On Saturday, I tried a new route and got 5+ miles in. Since I haven’t ran since Tuesday, my legs felt a little stiff and it was hard to get into gear. Once I hit mile 3, I felt much better. I zoomed for the rest of the way and got home just before it was starting to get even hotter. 

I had plans to go to LA and see some friends later in the afternoon, so after my run I wanted to relax as much as possible. I did all of my errands and by 10am, I was clean and back in bed. I decided to watch some Pretty Little Liars so I started from season 1 because why not? 

I was meeting up with my friends at this restaurant called Bottega Louie in downtown LA. It’s a fancy restaurant that specializes in desserts, specifically macarons. However, they have good brunch and dinners as well. My friends and I ordered two pizzas that we shared, as well as BL’s famous Portobello fries – which weren’t really fries, but rather slices of portobello mushroom dipped in batter. The fries were SO yummy, by the way. I recommend the oh so flaky goodness!

The appetizer: Portobello fries!
The appetizer: Portobello fries!
Half Burrata / Half Sausage pizza.
Half Burrata / Half Sausage pizza.

For dessert, my friends and I were down to get a box of the famous macarons to try them out – but once my friend mentioned there was a Sprinkles cupcakery nearby, I actually opted out of getting the (really expensive) box of macarons and got a box of my all time favorite cupcakes ever! I will add that they seemed more worth it to me! If you haven’t tried Sprinkles cupcakes before, I HIGHLY recommend them, especially if you’re a sweet tooth!

I'm such a happy camper! I hardly ever get my favorite cupcakes!
Excuse my shirt, but I’m such a happy camper! I hardly ever get my favorite cupcakes!
A close up of the beauties: Two red velvet, Vanilla, and Cinnamon!
A close up of the beauties: Two red velvet, Vanilla, and Cinnamon!

Seeing as Saturday night involved a lot of me getting some good eats, Sunday was the day to run them off. I started the day early; I can notice that the sun is starting to rise later and later. HA. Goodbye, summer! I’m so ready for Fall to come.

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I ended up running 9 miles, and in really good time! I finished at 1:42:45. If I kept going for an even 10 miles, I would’ve been about 5 minutes faster than my time last week! My pace per mile during this run was also really consistent. I think I’m getting the hang of this long run thing! Next week, I’m going to go slow and steady for an 11-miler. My goal now is to reach 13 miles by the third weekend of September!

I hope that everyone’s having a great long weekend so far! Did you run the weekend, or did the weekend run you?

Till next time,

P.

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Manual labor, the other type of working out.

My dearest apologies for being MIA lately! I have been busy almost every night I got off of work this week. I’ve been meeting friends, tending to dinners, and also, I got my hair done this past Tuesday! It was much needed: I got a trim and got my hair dyed balayage-style. It’s quite nice!

This week, the last time I ran was Tuesday morning. Yes, while it has been quite a while, I’ve managed to still get a work out in during work yesterday and today. Since we’re a small company, we have to tend to our company warehouse ourselves. This week, we had a lot of huge shipments go out as well as receiving a lot of inventory, which pretty much meant manual labor; the other type of working out. This involved a lot of me squatting and lifting heavy boxes as well as being on my feet for 4-5 hours a day. Today, I was pretty much working in the warehouse all day with my coworkers – however, even in the hot weather, we did manage to have a lot of fun while doing so.

Since running my 10-miler this past Sunday, I feel as though I’ve also been just flat out exhausted. My 4+ mile run on Tuesday wiped me out, even though I felt good after, I still felt so TIRED. I told myself that Thursday or Friday would be a cross training day, and it just so happened that I pretty much had to help with warehouse work anyway. :p

Tomorrow, I’m going to hop back into the routine. 5 miles. I’m meeting with another friend in the afternoon, which is awesome so I can still have some of the morning to myself. Yay! Plus, I’m actually itching to run again. Honestly, sometimes you really just need a break to get back in the game! I’m thinking…8-10 miles on Sunday? Maybe even 11 because why not? I need to start planning out new, longer routes. September is going to be the month that I tackle 13 at least ONCE. I can do it. What’s three more miles?

Lastly, Run Nike Women finally mapped out the course for the half-marathon this week! They’re actually changing the route for the first time in a while, and I’m excited!! San Francisco, you’re mine! Can’t believe I only have about a little over a month left for the half!

Excuse my excited-ness! 😉

Till next time,

P.

 

 

Running Stuff / Rave Review: YurBud’s Race Case

Seeing as I’ve been running with this beautiful for thing for a good two and a half weeks now, I figured I’d finally do a RAVE REVIEW on Yurbud’s Race Case for the iPhone 5! 

This case caught my eye from an issue of Runner’s World magazine earlier this year, because 1) it looked awesome and 2) it wasn’t an armband! Prior to getting this case, I’ve been using an armband, and I am no fan. Since I use two running apps AND Google Music or Spotify for my music, I need to have easy access to my phone. I hate having to take off the armband or twist my arm in a weird way just to be able to navigate my way through. Once I did some research on Yurbud’s Race Case (and all reviews were positive), I knew I had to get one. 

As the product description says on the website, the case features “a breathable silicone hand strap with ambidextrous design, the Race Case allows you to easily access your phone while running or walking. The exterior shell and dual layer honeycomb provide sweat and impact protection. This case is compatible with the iPhone® 5 and is designed for both active and all purpose use. Inspiration in the palm of your hand so you #neverstop pushing forward.” (source, yurbuds.com)

Once I got in the mail, I realized that it was much cooler in person! I expected it to be a tad bit bulky; after all, it does have to protect your phone if by chance you drop it during a run.

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The inside: red honeycombed texture!
The inside: red honeycombed texture!
The silicone hand strap in the back.
The silicone hand strap in the back.

The silicone hand strap is fairly durable and stretchy. Because of the way the strap is positioned, it might feel more comfortable for those that are right handed. However, I’m a leftie myself, and I certainly have no problem carrying it on my left hand. The case in its entirety is fairly smooth to the touch. It’s fairly pleasant to have in your hand!

I’ve taken this on all my runs since I’ve gotten it, and it has not let me down. My hands do tend to get sweaty when I run, but since the material is breathable, it’s not a problem. After 2 1/2 weeks of use for running and enduring all of my salty sweat, the case is holding up well and still looks good.

The Verdict: GET THIS PRODUCT. If you aren’t a fan of armbands and prefer to hold your phone during a run, this is the case for you. At $30, you protect your phone as well as having a handy dandy running sidekick.

You can order this phone case online only on their website here, seeing as it’s not available in stores. They are also available on Amazon, and I actually ordered the case on Amazon since shipping was cheaper.

(I was not compensated for this product review… just had to write about how awesome it is!)

 

10 miles, DONE! (Half-Marathon Training Day 57)

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Today was supposed to be a 9-mile run… and because it was such a beautiful morning, I decided to go for 10! 

My hope for a cloudy and cold morning came true. When I stepped outside in 60 degree weather, I knew it. I told myself to go as slow as I can so I can last for 10 miles…haha. Throughout the whole run, I ran as slow as I could: at around 11:50 per mile. It’s strange. I wasn’t tired at any point at all during my run – well, I might have the cold weather to thank. The only things that bothered me during my run were my knees – which had been aching a bit since Thursday – and my ankles, which probably have something to do with my pronation. I really hope I don’t need to buy shoes again before the actual race, but from what it seems, like, I might have to. 

Any good recommendations for running shoes for mild overpronators? I preferably choose shoes that are both stable and comfortable; so far, Brooks hasn’t let me down with their Ghost 6’s, but I might have to go to a Ghost 7. 

Right after I completed 10 miles, I had luckily brought my debit card with me in my case, so I hobbled on over to a Walgreens and got myself a Gatorade, stat. My goodness, that was the best Gatorade I’ve ever had. As I sipped on the red, fruit punch goodness I couldn’t believe that I had just ran 10 miles. I came into Walgreens sweaty and red but I didn’t care… dude I just ran 10 miles!

Here are my stats from today’s run:

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I’m calculating it now. If I run 10 miles in 2 hours, and 3 miles in around 30 minutes or so, my half-marathon finish time will be around 2:30 – 2:40, which is what I’m aiming for. Noted, San Francisco’s hills might slow me down a bit, so I’ll definitely be utilizing my downhill speed. Since I have my base down, I can train more for 10 and up, and then start tapering mid to end of September. I’m also going to try and train on as much hills as I can. At least it felt easier going up the hill this second time! 🙂

After getting back home and taking a well deserved shower, my boyfriend and I decided to go get lunch at Souplantation, because what better way to gain back some calories after burning 1000 off?

Wonton Crisp salad mixed with some Greek salad, and of course some pizza bread! (More bread, not pictured).
Wonton Crisp salad mixed with some Greek salad, and of course some pizza bread! (More bread, not pictured).
For dessert: chocolate brownie with soft serve + chocolate syrup!
For dessert: chocolate brownie with soft serve + chocolate syrup!

It’s been a great day so far, and all I want to do for the rest of the day is just lay down and relax, maybe drink some more Hefeweizen later today. Also, I’m excited because one of my close friends just told me that she bought our tickets to see Hardwell in concert in November! It’ll be my first EDM concert, so I’m excited! Might I recommend some Hardwell, Porter Robinson, and Armin van Buuren for your running playlists? 

On that note, what is on your running playlists? Right now, I have a mix of Ariana Grande, Vampire Weekend, Lorde, Blink 182, Fleetwood Mac, CHVRCHES, and the Eurythmics, to name a few. It’s quite a combination, I assure you.

Anywhoo, I must tend to my knees and ankles. Does anyone know of any remedies? I was almost itching to do an ice bath earlier to help with the inflamation, but i don’t have enough ice. :p

I hope everyone has had a great weekend so far! What were your running adventures like this weekend?

Till next time!

P.

 

 

 

TGIF, so pizza and beer it is!

I got back on track yesterday and completed a 6-mile run. Although the morning wasn’t cloudy, it was still pretty cool. I didn’t feel like listening to music yesterday, so I opted for the audiobook option instead. Because I began reading my actual physical copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I decided to try another book out. I chose to listen to Heidi, which was particularly enjoyable. I think I will continue with it during tomorrow morning’s 5-mile run. 🙂

Another running related moment yesterday: I booked my flights for San Francisco in October!!! I still can’t believe my first half marathon is officially less than two months away!!! Eek!

After work today, I headed off to Trader Joe’s (let’s face it: there is no where else I grocery shop, pretty much) and grabbed some more food to last until next week. My coworkers and I were really adamant about us not eating out every single day like we usually do this week, and it’s nice to see that I have more money left because of that. Ha. Anyway, I decided pizza would be a good idea for dinner tonight, along with some Hefeweizen I still had in the fridge. 

Although I struggled a bit with my dough (my boyfriend’s dough was so much easier to handle… no fair!), my pizza turned out to be really delicious and went well with the Hef!

Just the right size for one!
Just the right size for one!
A close up of the beauty! Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Spinach, and Sundried Tomatoes!
A close up of the beauty! Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Spinach, and Sun-dried Tomatoes!

I guess it’s safe to say I’m all carbed up for tomorrow’s run! Perhaps I should’ve saved this for my long run on Sunday…

Which reminds me. I will add, that during my run yesterday, I did feel my left knee giving off a bit. Today, I felt a slight pain in the same spot… let’s hope I won’t get put on the sidelines again. I told myself: the deal is, if it starts hurting during my run tomorrow, I’ll take it easy. I can’t risk injuring myself at this time, especially when I need to start going into miles 10 and up in September. Eeek! If all goes to plan, I will be doing 9 miles this Sunday!

It’s crazy to think, I’m well on my way to the double digits! 13 miles, you’ll be cake in no time.

Mmm. Cake.

Happy Friday, everyone!

I needed to take a break, so I did. (Half-Marathon Training Day 52)

Sometimes, you gotta tell yourself: it’s okay to take a break, and not run, and just be active doing something else!

With the stress of work yesterday, I did not have a good night’s sleep. I also had dinner with a friend and ate way too much pasta for my own good. I ended up getting major gas and heartburn (which is never fun) and decided late at night, when I struggled to sleep, I’m not going to run tomorrow.

I woke up early still, at 6 am, groggy. The weather looked perfect – cloudy and cool – but even this wasn’t enough to convince me to go out. Although I was tempted, I knew I needed the rest. Regardless of the fact that I decided not to run today, I was still going to make time for a workout and cross train. BUT, with three hours left before the work day started, I decided to sleep in a little longer. I needed it.

Work ended up going really smoothly today. Training our new girl – my close friend – has me jumbled all over the place, in addition to the work that keeps piling up because of our sudden boost in sales. However, we managed to get a lot of organizing done and created flow charts to better explain the processes of things. I felt relieved!

After work, I went to my apartment complex’s gym to work out. When I stepped outside, the weather was so beautiful. There was no presence of that dreadful, hot Southern California heat. Again, I was tempted to run, but I decided not to. I continued on to the gym and got 15 minutes on the bike, and 15 minutes on the stairmaster. I also spent a little bit of time on the weight machines.

I gotta say, as much as I felt guilty that I missed a scheduled run today and even yearned to run, I’m glad I didn’t. It was nice to get a break from running; as I should be: taking a break and cross training some days anyway. While my 8-mile run on Sunday didn’t wear me out that day, it eventually caught up with me. Not running today is actually making me look forward to my next run on Thursday. Let’s just hope that the weather that morning is ideal.

Till next time,

P.

8 miles: not that much farther to 13! (Half-Marathon Training Day 50)

It was long overdue, but I did it: I ran 8 miles this morning!

I planned my route last night: this time, I was going to go up the hills onto the next town, and then back down to my town to the park. I started my run at around 7am, when it was still fairly cool, although the sun was steadily rising higher and higher. I went as slowly as I could, and paced myself throughout the whole run. I was hoping I wouldn’t outdo myself today, especially since 1) I was running on a huge hill and 2) this would be my longest distance ever

Surprisingly, I felt really good during the whole run. During the hills, I didn’t stop, and I reached a snail pace of 13 min / mile. After the hill, it was pretty much a breeze. By the time I hit 7 miles, I couldn’t believe that I was well on my way to make another PR, and I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t tired. When I reached 8 miles, I even considered going for two more for an even 10… but, I’ll save it for another day. 😉

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I was really hoping that at least one of the pictures I tried to take when I reached the top of the hill would come out good, but sadly, none were too spectacular. Eh, what the hell. What matters is that I reached the top, right?

Starting my run early on in the morning has seriously made this Sunday go by much, much slower, which works out great considering it’s already Monday again tomorrow. I’m excited for the work week though: one of my close friends is going to start working with me, and she starts tomorrow! 

Right now, I’m cooking some dinner (cheese tortellini with basil pesto) while sipping on some Hefeweizen that I got from Trader Joe’s yesterday. Gotta enjoy my last night of the weekend!

Have a great night, everyone!

P.