A break. Runner’s haitus… and other updates.

I think that’s where I’m at right now.

But I feel so bad that I haven’t been running!

Earlier this week, I had intended to get a run in before my doctor’s appointment, and since I was short on time, I couldn’t. I had to get a holter monitor to monitor my heartbeat since sometimes it flutters (but, I swear, everything else is okay – doctor just wanted to be sure!). Since I had to wear this monitor for two days, and could not shower (ugh, tell me about it), that means nix on the running. Tell me I’m not the only one that gets extremely salty and sweaty during my runs? Yeah.

So I continued on with my yoga. As of today, I have completed 11 days of the 30 day challenge; I’ve been consistent. I’ve been getting flexible. Each day I can do poses that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. I’ve been feeling good. I can hold a crow pose for about a fraction of a second. I definitely couldn’t do that two weeks ago.

Yoga is definitely changing me. It’s changing the way I feel, the way I breathe, think. It’s even changing my posture – in a positive way. 🙂

But with running… I don’t know what it is. After having a solid running schedule since Spring 2013, I think I do need a break. Don’t elite runners also have some down time too? I wonder.

I still have full intentions to run a half marathon this fall too.

If anything, my plan is to start training in June.

Again, I’m not giving up on running altogether, but I don’t think I will be as active with it for the time being. I really don’t plan on making this a permanent thing. Nothing can replace a good run. Honestly, I’m craving a long distance slow run. But after having plans consistently for the past couple of weekends, and then Vegas and Disneyland the coming weeks, this is my first weekend just relaxing. Enjoying myself. Since I’ve been back from Germany I feel as if there’s always something to do, and I’m just exhausted! Tomorrow, I will start off the day with a yoga sequence, and then go for a swim in the afternoon.

In other news, earlier this week I also found out that I GOT INTO THE GRAD PROGRAM I WANTED! With a tough call between mastering in history or library science, I decided to go with the MLIS because it would provide me with the skill that I need. With that said, I also plan on volunteering at the local library during the summer to get some more experience under my belt; I recently quit volunteering at the museum in LA simply because it was too far.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has had a great weekend – tomorrow is Sunday! Time to bask in the happiness of what’s left of the weekend.

Till next time,

P.

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2 workouts for the past couple of weeks… Does “moving around” count?

These past couple of weeks have just left me physically drained.

After work, I come home to cook dinner, clean and put away stuff at the apartment, and enjoy the little time I have left to relax until I have to go to sleep and do the same thing all over again. These past couple of weekends, I have been moving, cleaning up, and traveling to see friends.

I. Have. Been. So. Busy.

And I’m so exhausted. On Sunday, I just had to sit and take a break after running errands all day, then cleaning the apartment again right after. I feel like I haven’t even had time for myself at all.

I knew that I just had to make time for a run.

I haven’t had a run in since Thursday, and also missed my Saturday run. I decided to get up extra early today to get some miles in. One thing that sucks about moving a city away? The longer commute. I’ve suddenly appreciated the days I’d wake up at 7, run for an hour, and be back in time to get ready and get to work in 5 minutes.

I haven’t ran early in the morning in quite a while now. My workouts have been later in the morning, or in the evening. I didn’t realize how cold it’s gotten now! I was actually pretty chilly, and it took a while for me to warm up! I decided to do a quick 5k – the original route I planned last week. Though I absolutely loved the route, my allergies + the wind were just killing me. Regardless, I ran in pretty good time and maintained a 10+ min. pace throughout.

For dinner, I was really craving some vegetables. My boyfriend and I went to the supermarket to pick up some food for the week. I ended up roasting some potatoes and asparagus in olive oil and baked some fish (Alaskan Cod) on the side. I absolutely love roasted potatoes, so to me, that was the main dish. 🙂

After work tomorrow, I’m planning on using my 45 min. workout day towards lifting weights at the gym. There’s a lot more variety at the new gym, and I can’t wait to try the leg press!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start so far!

P.

Nike Women’s Half Marathon 2014 | San Francisco / PART TWO: THE RACE!

I awoke early the morning of the race – I had set my alarm at 4:00 am so I had enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, and drive to downtown from the East Bay with my stepdad. Thanks to a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, I realized it was already 3:45 am – might as well get up then. I turned on the TV and Zenon: The Zequel was on. Hello, childhood! I had it play in the background as I got ready. My parents woke up shortly too, and we all had a quick breakfast: I just had a dinner roll with peanut butter and coffee. My stepdad and I would go to the city first; my sister, the kids, my brother and his family, and my mom would follow later on.

My stepdad and I got to downtown pretty early – at around 5:30, to be exact! I had a lot of time on my hands, so I took my time getting to my corral and grabbed a Gatorade at a corner store. There were already a lot of runners there! With all the spare time, I made sure to use the porta potties TWICE before the race started.

Thank you, fellow runner, for agreeing to take this photo of me!
Thank you, fellow runner, for agreeing to take this photo of me!
All the people in my corral!
All the people in my corral!

I was in my corral for about an hour. Yes, an hour. The race started at 6:30 with the first wave of runners. There was loud music blasting from speakers all around, instructors on a stage at the front of each corral showing us stretches, and a bunch of dancing lights. The energy was definitely there – but by the time it was 7am, I was just about over it all. I was just so anxious to start! Finally, my corral – the third wave – was on it’s way to the starting line. Daylight had already broken by the time we got to start!

Here we go!
Here we go!

There were TONS of runners. Like the start of any race, people get bunched up. But in this case, people were bunched up the whole way. Not that there wasn’t any room to run, I had just never been in a huge race so this was all new to me!

I kept my pace steady, and had my phone off so I didn’t see how much I had left to go, what time it was, etc. I really lost track of time during this race, and it was nice to just focus on my surroundings and actually doing the run. I didn’t want to fuss with speed of any sort, especially since my foot was still hurting a bit. I had it wrapped up in athletic tape to keep it stable.

We roamed around the city and before I knew it, we were at Golden Gate Park by mile 4. It was really crazy how fast time went; it was also really foggy throughout, so it even added more to the sense of losing track of time.

At almost every mile mark, there was something there: a live band, cheerleaders cheering, a DJ, a vast amount of volunteers passing out water, fruit, and various types snacks ranging from Luna bars to chocolate bars!. There literally was something going on throughout this whole race. It was GREAT! The energy was positive throughout, everyone was happy.. it was just great!

All that fog! My kind of weather!
All that fog! My kind of weather!

At around mile 7, a pace maker had caught up to me for a goal of finishing at 2:40. I thought I was in pretty good standing, because I thought I was going much slower when I actually wasn’t: I was still within my goal! I passed the pacemaker afterward and used seeing her as a way to keep myself in check. After all, I still wanted to finish at a good time!

Well, hello there!
Well, hello there!

BUT THINGS CHANGED AT MILE 10. My goodness. This hill was brutal. The fog just kept concealing how much higher we had to go. It was dreadful, but I managed to keep running – even though I ran as slow as a turtle! Many others walked this part as well.

"Goodbye, pacemaker," I said as she trotted up the hill with ease.
“Goodbye, pacemaker,” I said as she trotted up the hill with ease.

Mile 10 was definitely the hardest part of the whole race. It was literally almost a mile of continuous, arduous, uphill.

And then Nike had the nerve to post this sign at the top:

What hill?! THIS HILL!
What hill?! ONLY THE MOST DIFFICULT THING I HAVE EVER HAD TO DO THUS FAR IN MY WHOLE RUNNING CAREER – jk, what career? :p

After mile 10, the race got surprisingly easy. It suddenly went all downhill, and before I knew it, I was at mile 12 – just one mile left to go! My boyfriend, who was tracking me online throughout the whole race, had sent me encouraging text messages that I got to glance at as I pressed on.

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Yay, mile 12!
Yay, mile 12!

You know how they say the first and last mile are the hardest? Yep. Couldn’t be any more truer. I anticipated seeing the mile 13 marker and it honestly felt like forever. When the crowds started gathering more and more, I knew I was within the finish. I eventually saw the pink flag waving “Mile 13”, took a sharp turn, and zoomed straight for the finish. Those interval trainings paid off, because I flew from there on.

And boom! I was done!!!

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After I crossed the finish line, all of us just kept walking forward and we were greeted by more volunteers handing out finishers goodies, including a beautiful black and blue water bottle (filled with water, too!), a reusable finisher’s tote bag from Whole Foods filled with FOOD, some chocolate milk, and a heating blanket! At the very end, before we left the finish line area, were booths that were like security checkpoints at airports. Here, volunteers were passing out the beautiful, little blue box that most of us ran our butts off for.

My stats, according to my RunKeeper. My official time was 2:42:22!
My stats, according to my RunKeeper. My official time was 2:42:22!

Through the sea of runners and their families, I finally found my own, and we took countless photos as I was greeted with hugs and kisses and congratulations. I was really happy that my family was able to be a part of this – they were one of the main reasons I really wanted to run San Francisco!

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After that, the celebrations pretty much continued. My family and I met up with more family and went to eat at a Filipino restaurant to celebrate both my sister-in-law and my stepdad’s birthdays, in addition to my finish. It was just a wonderful feeling, to be surrounded by those I loved, and got to finish a race that I have been training hard for the last three months for, not to mention a race that I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time!

My official time was 2:42:22 – my boyfriend had sent over my stats as he saw it online. I was really happy with my results – with all running, no stopping / walking, and some gnarly hills, I thought that I did well enough. I mean, since it was my first half marathon, I pretty much still PR’ed, right? 🙂

Since Sunday, I’ve been wearing my finisher’s necklace and just cannot stop admiring it. It’s just so pretty!

The front of the necklace! I love the design!
The front of the necklace! I love the design!
The back!
The back!

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And so ends my Nike Women’s Half Marathon journey – 265.1 miles later. I’ve learned and endured a great deal through it, and only now do I understand how people can get addicted to running half-marathons.

Because now, I’m already looking up my next one! Preferably, a flat course, this time. 😉

I’ve decided to take a couple of days off and just recuperate not just from my run, but from my busy weekend. I just had a lot to do, and traveling always takes a toll on me. I am getting antsy, and might just go for a nice, short 4 miles this weekend.

But for the meantime, it’s on to the next one.

Till next time,

P.