2 workouts this week, 2 more to go!

So this week, I’ve really been trying to stay on track. On Monday, I ran, and last night, I kept my word and went to the gym to use the weight machines for 45 minutes..

And whew, I have to say I’m a tad bit sore!

But it feels good. On the machines where I had to use my arms, it was tough. As I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely have no upper body strength. I spent some time doing some pull downs, chest presses, rowing, as well as some free lifting with the dumbells. Of course, due to the lack of strength, all the weights I tried were 20 lbs. and under. 😛

I found that the machines I used for my legs were significantly easier. Duh. I sense some unbalance here. I used the leg press, leg extension, leg curl, and the leg adduction / abduction machine.

Okay, so I definitely had to look up the names for these specific machines because I am nowhere near familiar with these machines, with the exception of a few. At least I had the gym to myself last night, so I didn’t embarrass myself when I had to figure out how to work some of them. Ha.

For dinner last night, I made some chicken brocolli bake. While it looked good, I was a bit meh about it. I had to cut myself some slack though because it was my first time making it. I know now to cut the chicken into smaller pieces, and use something other than cream of chicken because I did not like it. I might omit the rice too next time: the texture reminded me too much of porridge, which I do not like. I sprinkled some french onion on top, and honestly, that and the brocolli were my favorite part of it all.

It still looked good though, at least!
It still looked good though, at least!

Also, because I had been contemplating which race to run for Thanksgiving, I finally decided on one a town away – mainly because it was only $25 AND I was guaranteed a shirt. If I was getting no bling, I at least wanted a souvenir. Sadly, the 5k closer to me had a higher registration price (I missed it before the prices went up!) and it wasn’t guaranteed I would be getting a shirt, so boo. Oh well. The 5k I ended up signing for is actually right near the mountains, so I’m pretty excited for how that course is going to look like!

So hooray, I have my next race next week! Which means… I need to really get some running time in before next Thursday! No excuses!

Till next time,

P.

A short, beautiful evening run, and some shopping! (Half Marathon Training Day 109)

I woke up feeling really groggy today, so I missed my morning run and slept in a little longer. I felt groggy all day during work, and even right now, I still feel groggy. However, I did manage to get a quick run from work to the park and back – just a little over 2.5 miles.

I haven’t ran since Sunday when I fell, and during my run today I felt some slight discomfort in my right foot. I know that my left knee was the main point of impact, but my right foot was the one that hit the curb first. My foot isn’t bruised, but after today’s quick run, I feel like I did sprain it a bit. I’m a little worried, and I hope that it’s healed up by Sunday. For now, I’m going to do some stretches and massaging.. even icing, if that will help. I just feel like there’s a sort of air bubble in my foot – I think that’s the best way to describe it.

My flight is tomorrow, and I haven’t even packed yet! Luckily, I have all morning to pack. I also managed to get a new running top for Sunday – a color very close to Tiffany blue! 🙂

Overall, I’m happy today is pretty much my Friday, although I will still be checking emails for work for the rest of the week. I’m also really excited to get some time with my family! There’s so many birthday celebrations to attend to this weekend, with one each day leading up to my race! Phew. I can already tell that this weekend is definitely going to tire me out!

Till next time,

P.

Bruised knees and a cracked iPhone screen: the misadventures of my last Sunday training! (Half-Marathon Training Day 106)

Today’s run was pretty eventful, let’s just start off.

I decided to follow my RunKeeper training plan for today instead of an 8-miler; I figured I should follow the plan for the last week, at least. I had to run 5 miles, then slow and fast intervals afterwards.

It was really cold when I woke up this morning and had the window open. I peeked out and saw that it was really foggy outside – something that rarely happens in my part of town.

I got ready and was out the door by 7:30. It looked REALLY eerie because I only realized just how dense the fog was! And I was playing Tove Lo’s album, and one of the songs had some sort of alarm in the background – eerily similar to that alarm from Silent Hill. Eek! I was a bit freaked out. Really. It looked empty outside, and it was super quiet, and I could only see cars when they were just approaching me.

Just look at that fog! There were actually a lot of cars around too. Most of them just driving past me, eventually disappearing into the fog.
Just look at that fog! IMG_7354

There were actually a lot of cars around too. Most of them just driving past me, eventually disappearing into the fog.

As creepy as the start of my run began, once I turned a street, the sun started shining, and eventually the fog lifted.. Thank goodness. I actually had to take out one earphone out of my hear just in case a car just sped right on through while I was crossing the street.

Funny enough as it is, the fog had nothing to do with what happened next: at about 2 miles into my run, I fell. On my knees and flat on the sidewalk. Hard.

I was running on the side of the road – and I prefer it to the sidewalk, because it’s actually even – but once parked cars started getting in the way, I ran sideways toward the sidewalk yet again. I guess I didn’t take a big enough step, because before I knew it, I tripped. You know that helplessness you feel when you fall? Yep.

So I fell flat on the sidewalk, my left hand with my iPhone in my Race Case; I heard the scratching. I knew my iPhone was damaged. Since I used my left hand to break my fall, my phone pretty much got scuffed on the side, with one crack right across the screen. Honestly, at the time it was the least of my worries. I got up, quickly made sure I was okay, and kept running.

A sane person might’ve stopped and turned back home… but this was my last Sunday of training. I had to finish my last Sunday of training, haha. Dedicated? Maybe a little crazy? I’ll take it.

The rest of my run went okay, and surprisingly, I felt good. I maintained my pace at around 11:20 the whole way. However, I did feel my knees burning as well as my hands. I would check on my legs at stoplights and only saw a couple scratches. I thought I was okay.

When I got home and did my stretches, only then did the adrenaline wear out and I saw just how badly my knees looked: they were purple. I iced them immediately and elevated them. I took some anti-inflammatory medicine afterwards to help ease the swelling. Right now, they feel much better, but my left knee is really bruised up.

However, other than the bruising, my legs are fine. No sprains of any sort, thank goodness. For the rest of the week, I plan on taking it easy anyway, and icing my knees when I have the chance.

Yep. Ouch.
Yep. Ouch.

Anyway, I am still in disbelief that the half is in exactly one week. I’ve been planning with my family where to meet this weekend and etc… it’s just crazy! I have no idea how I’ll be getting any sleep the night before. Earlier this morning, Nike released a time-lapse video of the entire course and I just am so juiced! The hills don’t look too bad at all! 😀

Well, I hope everyone’s had a safer Sunday on the road than I did today. 🙂

Till next time,

P.

The tapering continues. (Half-Marathon Training Day 99)

IMG_7233

My 99th day of training – 3 months, 236.3 miles.

The half marathon is officially two weeks away.

I kept it on my mind as I ran my 10-miler today, and I just couldn’t help but smile, knowing that in exactly two weeks, I’d be running for what I’ve been training for after so long.

Regardless of the heat advisory this whole weekend (yes, the heat came back for the week in Southern California, sadly), each morning still feels so cool and breezy. Sigh. If only it stayed that way all day. The start of my run was actually pretty chilly.. but by the 4th mile, I was all warmed up.

I went through my hilly route again, and I was surprised that I was running uphill with ease; I even took a quick glance at my phone and saw some brief glimpses of a 9:30 per min. pace! Perhaps it was the elliptical training I did yesterday? Either way, it felt awesome.

My boyfriend and I had left my car at his parent’s house across town so he could work on it early this morning while it was still cool out. I chose to end my 10-mile route right at his parents’ so we could just meet there. From miles 6-10, I was pretty much running towards the sun. I brought my sunglasses, which helped – a lot. But by mile 8 I was just so damn thirsty… and I didn’t bring anything to drink.

I suddenly see my car turn the corner and it’s my boyfriend to the rescue! He actually finished working on my car sooner than expected. He asked me how much longer I had left, and I told him I wanted to finish still so we can still meet at his parent’s. Lucky for me, he also brought my Powerade with him – HELL YES. I immediately felt replenished as I gulped the fruit punch goodness, and as I handed him the bottle, I continued on.

Overall, it was a good run. My foot didn’t bother me as much today, although it did start hurting once I started going more downhill. I’ve been doing toe stretches and rubbing my foot on a tennis ball – it’s been helping!

Later in the day we took our rabbit, Quincey, to a bunny expo at the shelter we adopted him from. They were grooming bunnies and having photoshoots. Of course, we had to treat our beloved bun, and we wanted to help fundraise for the shelter so we went all out. Quincey got groomed (and he definitely needed it – he is shedding everywhere!) and got a Halloween photo taken! There were so many adorable rabbits everywhere. It was great!

Ready for his close up! We ended up choosing a photo of him with a pirate hat on. :)
Ready for his close up! We ended up choosing a photo of him with a pirate hat on. 🙂

When we got home, I had another slice of pumpkin pie (because I deserve it, ha) and after relaxing a bit and watching some Celebrity Ghost Stories, I started dinner. I made some bowties with alfredo sauce and mushrooms. Mmm! Carb replenishment. Just what I needed!

Pasta and beer - the perfect combination!
Pasta and beer – the perfect combination!

And… it’s time for the work week again tomorrow. Sigh. I swear, why do weekends just not last?

Till next time,

P.

That darn foot pain… (Half Marathon Training Day 96)

For the past three weeks, I have been only working out 3x a week (but honestly, when I need to do warehouse work at my job, I can count it as a workout.. phew). I think running over an hour back to back during the weekends really winds me down by the beginning of the work week. However, by Thursday I’m pretty much ready to go. So this morning, I went on a short, 4-miler to slowly ease myself into running again… more importantly, to see how my right foot was feeling.

After my 11-mile run this weekend, I pretty much couldn’t walk properly since the inner arch of my foot was really hurting. I decided to take the break anyway.. and by last night, I thought I was fine.. until my run this morning pretty much left me in a pained state once again.

Curse you, inflamed tendons!

Now I’m contemplating if I should run a 10-miler this weekend. I really should. I have about two more weeks of training, but my last 8+ mile long run would have to take place this weekend! Ah.. I know I should take it easy, play it safe and not further strain my foot. With race day 17 days away, I really have no time to heal from any prolonged injury…

What should I do to?

I know what you all will say… rest, of course!

Maybe I’ll just spend an hour on the bike or swim this weekend… I need to make sure to keep fit, at least!

Till next time,

P.

Let the tapering begin! (Half Marathon Training Day 92)

Last night, I dreamt of running the Nike Women’s Half… but it was actually more of a nightmare. I kept getting distracted and pulled from all different sides from the race – there was suddenly something that I had to do, so I had to steer off course, for HOURS at a time. I could never finish! I kept getting back on the course only to have to do something again. I was the last person to finish, and the thousands of others were already heading home.

Phew. I think I had this dream because I have been stressing a lot about the race lately. I think I’ve been focusing too much on time, instead of covering the distance.. and I really shouldn’t. Since this is my first half, I should really only do my best and tackle the distance. Master the distance, worry about the time later. Through all my training, I’ve forgotten the main thing I actually trained for: to reach 13.1 miles. Yes, it would be nice to finish in 2:30 with no rest breaks, but if I finish later than that, oh well. What matters is that I finished, right? In these last couple of months, I’ve had a lot of gains. I’ve run so many miles and I would’ve never done so if I didn’t sign up for this half. I need to remind myself to just go with the flow.

When my alarm woke me up from my dream, I was so groggy. I thought it was Monday! It took me a few minutes to realize I had to do my long run. I really didn’t want to. Waking up at 5 yesterday morning and running a fast 5k made me really tired and I didn’t realize it. But, I sucked it up and got ready. By 8, I was out the door.

I slept in a little since I knew the weather wouldn’t be too hot at all during the morning. After my first mile, I started running behind an older woman, and in due time, I caught up with her. At first, I actually frightened her because she noticed my shadow gaining on her – haha! We ended up chitchatting about what we were training for. She was training for a half as well, but her’s was in November! She had told me she was doing 8 miles today; I told her I was doing 11. We talked a little more about how our training was going and just how tired we were from it! I ran her pace until I had to change my course to continue on my 11 mile route and we parted ways. I haven’t ran next to someone since my cross country days; I forgot how nice it was! Talking with the woman only helped me stay focused for the rest of my run.

I reversed my usual, hilly, long run route and to my surprise, I actually ran uphill in good time! With the route reversed, I was going uphill for a longer amount of time. I figured it was good practice for San Francisco. After I went downhill however, I started getting tired. At around mile 9, I stopped at a park to drink some water and use the restroom. I was thinking to myself, how would it be when I’m at the half? I need to learn how to use the port-a-potty as fast as I can.. haha.

I ended up finishing 11 miles at 2:11:06 – a whole minute faster than my last 11-miler, and this was with a huge hill! I was pretty damn proud of myself, but I was also really tired.. and my right foot was hurting. Darn you, arched feet! Does anyone have any remedies for foot arch pain?

Throughout today, I just pretty much cooked, cleaned, did errands.. most importantly, I managed to watch the Berlin Marathon since I missed it last night. So proud of all the runners, especially the new record holder Dennis Kimetto, and of course, my girl Shalane Flanagan! Although she didn’t beat Deena Kastor’s record, damn did she run that race! I believe she will break records in due time.

Anyway, that’s about it. I hope everyone has had a great weekend! Can you believe it’s already going to be October later this week?!

Till next time,

P.

 

RACE DAY – Saint Paul the Apostle Church’s Harvest Run 5k, 2014. (Half Marathon Training Day 91)

Well, I didn’t PR, but I definitely was in for a surprise!

Today was the day of my first 5k since March of this year! I managed to get up at around 5:50 am this morning to get to where the race was by 6:30. I was surprised I had enough energy this morning: I had gotten dinner with friends last night and did not get home until late. I got ready quick, and grabbed a KIND bar on the go. I had about an hour and a half until the race started, so I had some time to have a little something to eat before.

Everyone was really friendly this morning. I usually go to races myself, since my boyfriend unfortunately works mornings on Saturdays, which is usually when I have a race. I found myself talking to a lot of fellow runners. I swear, I have never met a rude runner. It’s always easy to strike a conversation with anyone at a race! One man had told me that he was finally getting back into running, and that today was his first 5k – after 20 years! After some more small talk, he agreed to take a photo of me before the race started.

Two thumbs up for an awesome race! Little did I know at the time. :p
Two thumbs up for an awesome race! Little did I know at the time. :p

By 7:30, we were off. I already knew to pace myself and not let myself get too excited as everyone rushed past me, so I just took my time. The course was relatively flat, with a couple of hills. It was a beautiful course – the first part of the trail had us go into a lush, green field and some old farm houses. I wish I got to take photos!

Once I reached the first mile’s water station, I yanked a cup off the table and tried my best to drink as I continued to run. A half of a mile later, I started noticing that I had already passed a lot of the people that had passed me in the beginning, to the point where there was a large gap between the people in front of me and the people behind me. The last mile was all flat, and at this point I started passing even more people. Within sight, there was about three people in front, with someone right beside me and someone behind me.

As I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I did my best and sprinted all the way down. I finished in 29:30. I didn’t PR. But WHEW. As flat as the course was, I felt like that was one of the tougher 5k’s I’ve ran – possibly because of the small, unexpected hills.

Had to sneak a pic of the pretty medals!
Had to sneak a pic of the pretty medals!

The after portion of the race included a breakfast. I met one of the runners I finished with and I sat down and ate breakfast with him. I learned that he was just in high school and had ran the race with his sister. When his little sister had arrived, I found out that they were Filipino, which is awesome because I hardly see any fellow Filipinos where I live. It was nice to bond with him and his family, and to be able to speak my native tongue! It’s been a while. I now have a new running buddy, since it was his first 5k race ever! I’m already egging him on to do another race with me soon!

A little bit later, the awards ceremony was up. His little sister ended up placing 3rd in her age range! When his age range came up, we were hoping he’d place too – but unfortunately he came at a close 4th place! By the time it was my age group, I already felt defeated. There was no way I was going to place this time.

3rd place, not me.

2nd place, ha, of course, not me!

1st place, me – WAIT WHAT?!

All of us at the table were shocked and I was so surprised – I HAD PLACED FIRST IN MY AGE RANGE YET AGAIN! I honestly did not expect it since the age range was huge and I thought there would be more women my age ahead of me, but I guessed wrong!

I look like a mess, but it's okay - I got a medal! :D

So, I won another pretty medal! Hooray! And I thought I’d just come home with a new bib and shirt!

I’m so glad I signed up for this race last minute! I got to run a beautiful course, got to work on my speedwork yet again, got to meet a new friend, and I ended up winning a sweet medal!

Yeah!! First place! Woot woot!
Yeah!! First place! Woot woot!

Next on my agenda, time to relax ALLLL DAY. Long run tomorrow, just need to plan which distance I’ll be doing!

Happy Saturday, everyone! Till next time,

P.