I’m still here! Reflections and other thoughts during my 3-4 month hiatus.

WARNING: This could be a long one.

Yes, I am still here. Not very active on here because well, I haven’t exactly been active.. BUT I have been (we’ll get to that more in a bit).

So, here is what I think happened. After a long, almost two year straight journey with running, I think I burnt out. That was it. I just became burnt out. After doing the 30 Day Yoga challenge, I did end up getting into yoga more. I still continue to do yoga to this day on days where I just don’t feel like doing cardio. Let me tell you: I have seen some positives while doing yoga more often, particularly in my core area. Yay!

While I got into yoga more, I drifted away from running, although I didn’t completely stop. I really didn’t, I still run. Just.. not as often as I’d like.

I found that with all the apps, the charts, the miles, and the blog posts – let me go back to it – I just got burnt out. I needed a break. Simple as that. I can only keep constant track of my running for so long until I realized that it was stressing me out. I suddenly kept comparing myself in every single workout, and thought I didn’t do my best. Didn’t run fast enough? Didn’t do my best. Didn’t run as much miles? Didn’t do my best. Gotta work harder. Gotta be better. My mind became clouded with so much negativity from within myself that I decided to put running in the back of my mind.

But I stayed active. I swam, did yoga, went on the bike, lifted weights, and did my favorite HIIT running workout on the treadmill. The thing is, I just didn’t work out as often as I liked.

After gaining about 5 lbs. (WHY??), I realized running is what kept me truly active, My workouts were organized, I always made sure I had time. It’s time to get back into shape and get back into the routine. However, I realized I should go about this a whole different route.

Since my hiatus, I’ve come up with some ideas that I will need to, if I have not already, implement:

1) NO MORE KEEPING TRACK OF MY TIMES. This means no more apps. No RunKeeper, nothing. While it was cool to know how far I’ve come when I got back to running, it suddenly became daunting when I’d see my times slip, or my miles go lower. I realized I wasn’t running just to run and have fun, I was running for the stats, and that wasn’t fun. I haven’t tracked a run – or any workout – since April, and it feels damn good to not give a damn how I do every single little workout. Sure, when I sign up for races, I’d still like to place a good time, and I think those are the only times I’d actually post up and compare my progress, but I think my goals at any race would just be to run and finish strong. If I happen to finish at a good time, that’s a bonus! i think I’ve come far enough that I am confident in my abilities – I can run X amount of miles, I can do this – there’s no need to prove to myself otherwise.

2) Watch what I eat. I’ve been eating too much good stuff lately, – that means, easy stuff. I’ve eaten one too many DiGiorno pizzas for dinner because I got lazy. Time to keep that habit to at least only 2x a month! I also need to start bringing lunch to work more often – it’s less tempting to go out and overeat on something when I know I have a good lunch! This means I also need to start being more mindful of what I can bring, so I know I won’t wimp out and just buy something later on.

3) Get back to working out 5x a week. This is where I’ve slipped up and I am now suffering the consequences. While yoga has helped build my core, I can’t do it alone – cardio is what kicks my butt, and helps keep me in shape. I will need to implement short yoga sessions into my short workouts to still reap some of the benefits. Or.. relaxing yoga on my rest days wouldn’t be too bad too. 🙂

I’m writing, once again, in this blog to remind myself that I need to get back to it. It was fun while it lasted, but now, Fall is coming.. which means, races are coming up – and a LOT of them. I initially wanted to do another half marathon this Fall, but because of finances (by the way, I FINALLY GOT A NEW CAR IN MAY!) as well as lack of training, I think I will be sticking to the smaller distances. I’m sure I’ll still get some pretty medals along the way.

So here we go – I’M BACK!

Till next time,

P.

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Week recap!

I’ve been sticking to my routine!

On Tuesday, I did my favorite HIIT workout on the treadmill. Went at a comfortable speed for my fast 30 seconds: 6.0, and then 5.1 for recovery. I felt really good afterwards – a nice jolt of speed was just enough!

Today, I decided to go outside and run after work instead of hitting the gym again (which means Saturday, I can sleep in and go to the gym for my cross training day!). It was such a beautiful day! It finally cooled down, and it was a nice and breezy 75 degrees during my run. Took it nice and easy and maintained my pace: still a good 10:30, my usual “easy” pace.

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I’m not usually an evening, after work runner, but lately, it’s been fitting my schedule better. Since I live a little further, I don’t have to rush during my mornings if I can get my run in at the park right after work!

Can you believe it, tomorrow is Friday again! I felt as if this week went by super fast. I’m excited though: on Saturday, I’ll be having some yummy Korean BBQ with some girlfriends for my early birthday dinner. Next weekend, I’ll finally be visiting my family! I haven’t traveled to see them in a while; the last time I saw them was for my half marathon! I’m so happy to be able to spend my birthday with my family, especially my Mom, who has the same birthday as me! 😀 It’s going to be hard to get a run in, especially after eating so many yummy food, but I’m determined to at least run a mile on the day of my actual birthday. Gotta celebrate another year of being fit!

I hope that everyone’s had a great week! TGIF – we’re almost there!

Till next time,

P.

6.2 miles and getting back in the habit

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So yesterday, I had planned a 10k run in the morning. I promised to take my time, and run just to run. Lately I feel like I haven’t been looking forward to running when I had to run outside, and I think it’s because I always expect myself to go faster than I should.

Which, I shouldn’t.

I mean, I didn’t used to always care. I used to just go out there and run. When I was half-marathon training, I loved my long, slow runs. I could take my time, listen to music or an audiobook, see the sights, and take it easy. What happened?

It was then that I realized I stopped having fun with my longer runs, and it made me not look forward to them anymore. This past January when I was training for my 10k, I felt like I had to be fast: I ran fast uphill even though I knew I shouldn’t, which led me to not want run any route that involved going uphill.

After my run yesterday, I kept telling myself, run slow, don’t worry about the time, and don’t rush. I ran a slow time of 1:08 and took my time going uphill… and guess what? I loved my run! I see now how important it is to remember to have fun doing whatever it is you’re doing, otherwise you’ll just not want to do it! I’ve lost sight of that, but now I remember again.

With that said, I’m going to start my old routine and run / cross train Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun. I’m going to be at the gym during the weekdays (since I just don’t have time since I’ve moved, especially before work), and running outside Sat. and Sun.

I’ve also been planning a goal for myself for this year. Last year, finishing a half-marathon distance was my goal. Now that I have that under my belt, I’m thinking of not just doing the one half-marathon in September, but another one later on the year. That means TWO HALF-MARATHONS. I feel like I’ve done enough smaller races… maybe it’s time to step it up a notch? 😉 I’d definitely have something to train for, now!

Always love seeing this little fishy during my 10k runs!
Always love seeing this little fishy during my 10k runs!

Hope everyone has a great Monday ahead!

P.

I got it at Ross!

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Last night, I got my run in after I finished work – just a 5k around the old park, for old time’s sake. But damn, it was HELLA windy! When I ran against the wind, I felt as if the wind was pushing me back. Definitely had to add more to my efforts.

Last night’s run also reminded me of how I should ease off running on the treadmill. Granted, there’s a lot of factors as to why I’ve been running on the treadmill more than running outside. For example, lately, my allergies have literally been killing me. I have an attack right when I wake up. For the past week, I’ve been taking an allergy pill right when I get up; let’s just say that it doesn’t take effect right away, unfortunately. Another thing is that since I’m living a bit further from work, I don’t have as much time in the mornings to run as I did before… I mean, I could wake up earlier…

I also feel as if I just don’t feel as safe in this new city. I mean, it is safe, but still. I think I’ve just been so used to my old town, and I know all the streets and where they go by heart. Maybe I do just need to run around and familiarize myself even more.

All I know is that it’s getting a bit difficult running outside. Maybe I’m running too fast too soon, maybe it was just the wind, I don’t know. What I do know is that I need to get back on track. That 5k next month is my motivator; the next, the half-marathon I’ll be signing up for at the end of the month.

With that said, I wanted something to get myself excited for the next run. Today, I decided to go find NEW RUNNING PANTS – finally.  I know I had mentioned before that I would be purchasing some running pants from Asics, but that sale came and gone. I went to Sports Authority and fell in love with some Nike Pro capris. I didn’t fall in love with the price, though. I decided to take a look at Ross next door and scored a nice pair of Adidas capris which felt exactly the same. I LOVED IT. AND THE PRICE TOO.

Yaaaa new pants! Can't wait to try them on my run tomorrow!
Yaaaa new pants! Can’t wait to try them on my run tomorrow!

It was pretty much half the cost of the Nike pants. With that, I bought some storage boxes for the house and some dark chocolate from Ghirardelli. The total? Still less than the Nike pants.

Patricia: bargain hunter.

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

P.

A weekend run, allergies, and museum fun!

This weekend came and went so quickly – I would like to thank Daylight Savings Time.

I also did a lot of house beautifying this weekend: I finally put up curtains in our bedroom! Next project is the living room. Although, TIP: don’t get your curtains at Target – get them at Ikea instead! At least you’ll purchase a PAIR of curtains for the same price you’ll find at Target.. possibly better options too. I’ve learned my lesson.

Anywhoo, in running news, I finally got to try out a new route I’ve been wanting to do. It went extremely well: it was a nice, flat run and I finished in no time: it was about 3.25 miles total. I actually planned a 10k around this route, but I had first wanted to see how that side of town was like. It wasn’t too bad, so I think I’ll explore a little further until I feel like it’s comfortable enough to run a full 10k in. 🙂

I ran for a total of 33:15. Not too bad, considering I started my run at around 9 am and it was already sweltering hot by the time I finished. Ugh. THANKS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. My allergies were also killing me this whole weekend. Spring is definitely near.

I also didn’t plan to run for too long, since I had a 5 mile hike scheduled the next morning. Unfortunately, my running buddy who I was going to hike with got sick, so I didn’t end up going on a hike. I ended up sleeping in after she had let me know our plans were cancelled.

However, my Sunday wasn’t over yet. I had a trip to the Norton Simon Museum with my boyfriend later on during the day since he had to do some work for his Art History class. Of course, I was excited, especially because I FREAKING LOVE MUSEUMS. AND OLD, CLASSICAL ART. It was amazing.

I got to see so much beautiful works of art, including pieces from Van Gogh, Degas, Raphael, Matisse, and even Picasso!

Here were a couple of my favorites:

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These two pieces are by Van Gogh!
These two pieces are by Van Gogh!
"Young Woman in Black" by Renoir
“Young Woman in Black” by Renoir
"The Black Shawl" by Matisse
“The Black Shawl” by Matisse

Overall, it was a great day. We spent about 3 hours at the museum and totally lost track of time. Afterwards, when we finally got home, I made some steak and baked sweet potato for dinner. So yummy!

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Tonight, I have a run planned out on the treadmill. I’ll most likely be running for time again: 40 min.

Which reminds me, I have a question: do you run for time, or do you run for miles? In your opinion, what’s better? 

I feel like I shouldn’t always be focusing on the miles. Running for time is just as important, isn’t it? After all… you’re still running. 🙂

Happy Monday!

Till next time,

P.

Darn you, treadmill time!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I am absolutely glad that tomorrow is Friday! It’s been a pretty busy week! On Tuesday, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical – not much of a challenge there, so last night I decided to run on the treadmill for 40 min. I absolutely will not accept that I did 3 miles in those 40 minutes at a higher speed than usual. LIES, I tell you, LIES!

So I just calculated how much I would’ve ran in that time as if I were outside and inputted that in my RunKeeper. Shhh.

What matters is I ran for 40 minutes, right?

Right.

I’ve been waking up early again as of late, and I like it. Yesterday morning, I went all the way to Irvine (close to the beach cities) to drop my bunny Pumpkin off at the vet for her spay date. We will be getting her back tomorrow, so I’m excited that my other rabbit Quincey won’t be alone again!

I didn’t end up signing up for the 5k that’s supposed to take place this Saturday – I need to save money! This paycheck has already dwindled fast – student loan payments have gone up, and I just had to purchase prescription glasses for reading & computer use!

I had wanted to run an Easter race so I can get a medal with a bunny on it, and I had my eye on one that I wanted to do last year… BUT – I learned that I might have a trip to Vegas with some of my girlfriends that same weekend.

Sigh. Let’s hope I can find a race soon! I have been itching for one… and race season is starting to slow down! I actually have my eye on a half marathon that’s taking place near me in September. I’m about 90% sure I’m going to do it… I miss having to train for something!

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Till next time,

P.

Race Day Recap: Christian Okoye Ontario Mills 10k

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I did not expect that I’d be saying this… but this was the BEST race I’ve ran, EVER, hands down!!!

Let’s start from the beginning.

I got up at around 5:30 am to have enough time to have breakfast. By 6:20, my boyfriend and I were out the door. I was also really happy that my boyfriend got up at the crack of dawn on his day off to see me run! I haven’t had a race on a Sunday in a while so it was great that he could come along! It didn’t take us long to get to Ontario and a lot of people were already there. I did a couple warm ups and hit the port-a-potties before heading to the start line.

The gorgeous sunrise!
The gorgeous sunrise!

There were two races: a 5k and a 10k. Once I got to the 10k corral, I noticed that it was a lot smaller than the 5k. I was a bit intimidated, and I was scared I’d be one of the last in the pack because I couldn’t handle it! After a short speech from Christian Okoye (I’m not a football buff, but he played for the Kansas City Chiefs back in the late 80’s – early 90’s), we were off!

Mile 1: once we started, I felt as if all of us – including myself – got a rush and were all running super fast. I had to remind myself to keep it steady, so I slowed as more and more runners got ahead of me. I tried to focus on my breathing and stayed with a couple runners that were around my pace until mile 2. Surprisingly, this was my fastest mile: 9:24.

Mile 2: I knew I had to slow it down. I thought that I was going way too fast way too early. I forgot to turn off the feature in my app that says my pace every 5 minutes – I feel as if I hear how fast I’m going, I’m going to go too fast for my own good. I kept reminding myself to slow it down, but tried to get ahead of runners in front of me in short bursts. Time:  10:07.

Mile 3: I joined a new pack of runners all going around the same pace and tried to maintain it while slightly going uphill. I focused on my breathing and ended up pushing through and got ahead of the pack. I reminded myself, only halfway to go! Time: 9:38

Mile 4: I was still pretty flabbergasted that I was going at a faster pace than usual. Now that I was going for 3 miles, I was roaring. I sped through more runners ahead but still maintained my pace. I had to save my energy for the last two miles. Time: 10:03.

Mile 5: Are we there yet?! Time: 9:49

Mile 6: Pretty much my glory moment. I had passed the ‘6 mile’ marker before my running app got to 60 minutes. I was ECSTATIC! I had run 6 miles in under an HOUR! I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear because I knew then that I still got PR for that. I hustled through the last bit and finished with a total time:

1:02:00! I PR’ED!

Yaaaa!!
Yaaaa!!
The bling!
The bling!

After getting my new medal, I met with my boyfriend again and we awaited the age group results. In the meantime, I chowed down on a banana. When it finally came I was so happy: I placed fifth!!!

I was pretty much amazed at everything. How I maintained such a fast pace (to my standards) throughout, I don’t know. I ended up averaging a 9:48 pace. My usual 10k pace is around 10:30. I guess those 20 minute speed workouts on the treadmill worked!

We got home, I made ANOTHER breakfast, showered, and took a nap. Now I’m up again and have the whole day ahead of me! I’m thinking celebratory sushi for dinner. 🙂

Overall, the race was really, really great. The course was pretty flat throughout, there were water stations literally every half mile, and the whole event was so organized! The energy was definitely there. I’m pretty sure I’ll be running this race again next year… perhaps, sub 60? 😉

I hope that everyone had a great Sunday! Did any of you run any races as well? How did you do?

Till next time,

P.