Cancelled Races and Postponed Goals

Trying to process my feelings about The North Face Endurance Challenge Series races being cancelled this weekend in NorCal. I was scheduled to run the 50k – my first ultra marathon – and have been training for 4 months. The air quality in the Bay Area has been horrible for the last week due to the Camp Fire, like horribly horrible, residents have been told to stay inside, which means I have been inside for the last 7 days straight (with the exception of walking to my car). It was the right call to cancel the race, completely, and the logic part of my brain knows that 100%… but the emotional side, the side that has been getting ready for the last 4 months, is incredibly disappointed.

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Walking to my car through the smoke

I know it’s just a race, and that there will be other opportunities, and that resources should be going to the Camp Fire community. I know all that, and I support ALL of that. I have donated money and goods and will continue to do so, because what happened in Paradise is devastating. So trying to process my feelings of disappointment about a cancelled 50k is made more complicated by the fact that my brain feels guilty for feeling disappointed. But there should be room for all of these emotions. I shouldn’t feel guilty about being sad my race is cancelled. I have been working hard, sacrificing regularly to get my runs done, and now my season is just over. Plus the news came during taper week, a time during which I am always a bit more emotional, hahaha.

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Our hazy smoke filled sky

My fitness is the highest it has ever been, and instead of running 50k this weekend, I will be stuck inside, for days 9 & 10 and going stir crazy. I have so much energy to burn off and no good way to do it. I have been in the gym so much this week, which just reminds me how much I hate the treadmill, and how lucky I am so live in such a beautiful place where I can usually run outside.

I have been looking for another 50k, but with training, and vacations coming up, and school schedules, it is hard to pick one. The North Face has given all of us entry into the race next year, but by then I will be on clinical rotations so it is impossible for me to know if I will even be in the Bay Area then. But I am going to try to hardest to race it next year. And in the meantime I am really hopeful I will find a 50k in early/mid 2019 to crush! For now, I am going to try to channel my disappointment into scouring the internet for a new 50k and into training for the Napa Valley Marathon, which will probably be here before I know it!!

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Golden Gate Half Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Golden Gate Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

My first race as a BibRave Pro and it was AMAZING!! I loved the Golden Gate Half!! From the expo, to the course, from the views, to the great atmosphere, it was an absolute blast! Plus I managed a PR – which is always great!!

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Registration was a breeze, and the pre-race emails were all super helpful. They even suggested a company/app to help with parking in downtown San Francisco – which was really helpful because I have only ventured into the city a few times. The Golden Gate Half race app was great for pre-race planning too.

The expo was at Ghirardelli Square on the bay, and I just don’t seem to get tired of those gorgeous waterfront views. Getting my bib took 2 minutes, everything was really well organized! There were a lot of companies and brands there, so I did a lot of wandering around and chatting with people at booths. Chatted with San Francisco Brewing Co people, tried some O4 water, debated signing up for Santa Rosa Marathon (which I probably will do), and got some other samples for a rainy day.

Race morning was pretty smooth – had parking about a mile from the start, so I took a Lyft the last bit to the start. Turned my stuff into gear check and studied a bit while waiting for the start time, hahaha. PA school hustle never stops!! There were 3 half marathon waves, and it was a bit crowded, but I liked it because it kept everyone warm.

My race plan was to just enjoy myself and stop to take a lot of pictures. I had done a 22 mile run the day before so my legs were pretty tired going into the race. The course had aIMG_4778 2 few ups and downs, no major climbing though, until the run up to the bridge. Running up and over the bridge was beautiful. And it was less crowded than I was expecting. On the north side of the bridge there is a little trail that leads you around and under the bridge so you can get back up to run on the other side. The trail was my favorite part, and had this amazing view ——> on my way back over the bridge I looked at my watch and realized that I was on pace to finish right around my PR time. I must have been slightly delirious by then because I decided to just really push myself and go for the PR. I am so glad I did, I think I felt a little more comfortable pushing my legs harder, that or it was just distracting to be going faster than I usually do, hahaha. Overall managed a 3 minute PR – and the realization that I may break the 2 hour mark in the half marathon one day!!

Crossed the finish line and got my medal – which I love!! I have always been obsessed IMG_4762 with bridges, so medals with bridges on them have a special place in my heart (and my medal collection). They also had bananas, that fancy O4 water, pretzels, and granola bars. After not eating during the 13.1 miles I was really happy to have some snacks!! I hung out at the finish line for a little while, I always love watching people finish races. Also took the opportunity to sit along the bay and just enjoy the pretty views and nice weather. I know that it will be full on fall and winter soon, and I will be freezing cold on the regular, so basking in the sun was just what I needed. I skipped the free post-race beer, which I usually do, I am horrible at drinking after running, hahaha. Walked the mile back to my car, felt good to keep my legs moving.

Overall, I loved this race! Cannot recommend it enough!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my school schedule in 2019 lines up nicely so I can run it again!!

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What a gorgeous medal

Post-race, I was able to jump on Athlinks.com and claim my race results. Which you know I was anxiously awaiting since I managed to run a PR!! I strongly encourage everyone to jump on and make an account too. Don’t forget to add me as a friend so we can go head-to-head in future races!

A week of skipped runs…

Some weeks are just rough, this was one of those. Crushed two long runs last weekend and went into Monday feeling like superwoman. The world had other plans and decided to send me a little head cold that I woke up with on Tuesday. Which meant I had to do the sensible thing (which I hate) and skip my run. Listening to my body when it doesn’t feel well is something I always struggle with, but I did it anyway. Being only 3 weeks out from my 50k I didn’t want to take any chances and end up with a lingering cold.

Tried to take a lot of longer walks, wanted to keep my legs moving. Even managed a long Wednesday walk of 11 miles while studying for a microbiology test!! But then Thursday rolled around, and I was either sick, or lazy, or something, but I skipped that run, and then Friday’s run too.

Finding my motivation again after missing a week is always really hard for me. This morning I decided to try to power through, went out for some miles and it turned into 14. And they felt good! It’s crazy how fast I forget how much I love running, and then how quickly I am reminded once I get back out there.

Another week done though, and re-energized for the next!

Love for Luvo

Disclaimer: I received Luvo food bundles to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

IMG_4172Feeling super thankful that I got to try, and fall in love with, Luvo foods vegan bowls!!

Finding quality frozen meals while being vegan has been a challenge that I have been dealing with since I made this dietary change at the beginning of the year. Most vegan frozen meals are either completely unhealthy, bland tasting, or not filling. Happy to report that Luvo foods blew me away with every meal I tried, they delivered on every count! Right now they have 4 totally vegan meals and I got to try all of them!!

For starters – these bowls are all really healthy. Each has 10-11 grams of protein, which is key when I am logging serious training miles. The veggies are flash frozen, so you know they are fresh, and you can taste that difference when you’re eating them. They use whole grains and have low sugar. And, best of all, my favorite one, Chana Masala, has chickpeas, which are a MAJOR obsession of mine. How did they know??

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My all time fav!!

Not sure how they do it – but the flavors are amazing! With other frozen meals I have had to add seasonings after heating them up, but not with Luvo. A few times I “dressed them up” – not because they needed it, but because I like to get creative and I also like to put avocado on everything, hahaha. It went perfectly on the Hawaiian Un-fried Rice!

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These meals are a LIFE-SAVER on crazy busy school days!!

And last, but certainly not least, my favorite thing about these meals – they keep you full!! Like actually full, for a long time, like until it’s time for your next meal. Super rare to find in a frozen meal. Most others end up being more of a snack than an actual meal. But these kept me satisfied. They were such a perfect addition to my busy school schedule and 50k training plan. I just love products that make it easy for me to nourish and care for my body!!

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Perfect recovery combo!

So, so, so glad I got to give these a try! Cannot wait to get another shipment!

New Race Alert – Golden Gate Half

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Golden Gate Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


So excited to add another amazing race to my plans for the next few months. And this one is coming up fast!! I am officially registered for the Golden Gate Half Marathon on November 4th 🙂 It will be my first race as a Bib Rave Pro and I could not be more excited to meet the other BRPs! Plus I finally get to race in orange – and I have heard that orange is the new fast!!

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The race will have me running over the Golden Gate – which I am currently obsessed with. Such beautiful views, plus it reminds me that I really live here, hahahaha, something I tend to forget in the day to day.  I mean how awesome is that bridge??

The medals for 2018 haven’t been released yet but looking at 2017 & 2016 ones leave me pretty sure that this years will be a great addition to my collection.

With only a few weeks to go until the race there isn’t much of a training plan to follow – my 50k is only 2 weeks after it so I am going to stay that course and enjoy the Golden Gate Half as much as I can!!

San Fran here I come!

 

 

50k training & PA school

Six weeks until The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k – and – six weeks into PA school.

Feeling pretty surprised that my training has been fairly consistent while trying to get used to my crazy new schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I have skipped plenty of workouts. My new city is kinda small so I am having trouble finding good paths or roads for long runs. I finally broke out of my comfort zone and joined a group run on Saturday in the Marin Headlands. And it went about as poorly as I expected, haha. I got dropped by all 40+ runners within the first mile – talk about humbling! Managed to survive the whole 13.5 mile run, with 2000 feet of elevation gain, but barely. It was painful, and eye opening!

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I have not been doing nearly enough elevation training – so this morning I went back to the trails and hiked up and ran down over and over again. Welcome to my new weekend morning routine! Also trying to utilize my bike trainer for those days I just don’t feel like running. Eventually I’ll get back into the pool too – but damn if I don’t hate swimming – lol.

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On the bright side – I love PA school. Some of the classes are more interesting than others, but all are teaching me so much. And I am loving the clinical assessment side of things!! It has definitely been an adjustment – moving to a new city by myself and starting a hard program . It is not as crazy yet as it will be in the future – so I am trying to enjoy the time I have while I have it. Staying active, exploring Marin county, volunteering at school and the food bank, basically doing all the things I love.

Gonna try to keep blogging every Sunday – it slips my mind – but I am going to do my best!

Detach Review

Disclaimer: I received a 6 pk of Detach water to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Let me start by saying I am really picky about the things I eat and drink – well my GI system is really picky anyway! That tends to present certain challenges when attempting to find fuel for training and recovery. Which is the main reason I was so excited to try Detach, with a coconut water base and a lemon-lime flavor it seemed easy on the stomach. I could not have been more impressed! It’s advertised as a pre-activity drink – but I tend to workout right after my morning coffee so it ended up being more of a post-activity recovery type of drink. And it worked beautifully, the flavor is really light, which is what I want. I can never stomach those super sugary, intensely flavored sports drinks. Detach also has sea salt added, which makes the taste nice, and aids in recovery. I tend to be an absurdly profuse sweater when I exercise, so replacing those lost electrolytes is key.

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Pretty bottle and delicious flavor!

When I first received my box of Detach I was surprised by the size of the bottles, 12 oz tends to be a bit smaller than other sports drinks. But it worked so nicely, it’s not always so easy for me to eat and drink after training, especially after a hard training session, so knowing that I can replace my electrolytes and start recovery while only having to drink 12 oz is kinda perfect. I drank one right after I finished my recent 70.3 and it was like a little slice of heaven. The course had been super hot, which always makes me nauseous, and the Detach calmed that right down!

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Recovering with some Detach!

As if the clean ingredients, great taste, and help with recovery weren’t good enough reasons to give it a try, Detach donates a portion of their proceeds to charity! I always like to do a little research into a company before I invest my time and money with them, it’s important to me that they are involved in community and try to give back when they can. Detach supports the Alzheimers Association, World Bicycle Relief ,and The King Ridge Foundation to name a few.

If anyone wants to give Detach a try (which I HIGHLY recommend) they are offering a free case (just pay S&H) with promo code BIBRAVE – or you can follow this link to have it added to your cart with the promo applied – bibrave.drink-detach.com

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Drink Detach!!

Hot Chocolate 15k & New Goals

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate San Fran 15k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

 

So excited to have signed up for my first race as a BibRavePro – the Hot Chocolate San
Fran 15k! I have been wanting to participate in a Hot Chocolate race for so long, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The registration process was super easy and I just love the swag they have! Register with code BRHCSanFran to snag an armband in addition to all the other cool stuff they give you! One of the main reasons I have had my eye on a Hot Chocolate race is the zip-up hoodie everyone gets. Not many other races offer perks like that – not to mention the chocolate at the end, haha, I would race just for that! It’s going to be a fun, chocolate loving, energetic crowd. So excited to join them.

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The race is in mid-January so it gives me plenty of time to prepare. Since this isn’t a new distance for me (and I have a 50k race scheduled for November) I was thinking about setting a time goal for finishing. Surprisingly enough I have never set a time goal for a race before (aside from just making the cut off times). Since I want to run a sub-2 half marathon one day I thought I should run the 15k at the same time pace as a sub-2, which would be 9:05 minute miles. My official goal will be to finish the 15k in 1:24:40. Once it gets closer I will have to find/make a training plan, but until then, I plan to just enjoy the miles and drool over this sweet medal!

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Finish Line Feels

Yesterday was the Chula Vista Challenge 70.3 – which means today I am firmly planted on the couch with my feet up, just reflecting on yesterday’s race. While it could have gone better, I am pretty happy that I managed to finish. The heat in San Diego was fierce yesterday and it was a struggle just to keep moving. But I crossed that finish line – and got the super cute medal too!

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SWIM – I should have known it would be a bit of a struggle from the start. The race was an in water start and I didn’t realize that it would start immediately after the national anthem. Which means the rest of wave 1 was treading water while I was still making my way down the beach. Oops! But I managed to catch up to the main group so not too bad there. The swim was murky and the water was choppy but I was able to stay relaxed. One major difference I noticed between this 70.3 and the usual Ironman branded races was the absence of sighting buoys. Between my not so great eyesight, the foggy goggles, and the seaweed sticking to my face, it was hard to sight something half a mile away. I definitely followed some people I shouldn’t have, but as least we were swimming in zig-zags together, hahaha. Took longer than I had hoped but I made it out, and got this glamorous shot to remember it by. IMG_0827

Bike – The bike was a constant reminder of why I should have looked at the course map prior to showing up on race day. There was way more elevation that I had anticipated. What always makes me think San Diego is flat?!?! The course was four loops, but what I hadn’t realized that that the loop had a second smaller loop within it. Which meant that the main climb had to be done eight times. Eight!! And while it wasn’t a lot of elevation for some people, it was for me. Especially since I did most of my training on the bike trainer in my garage. Add that to my dropped chain and my brake malfunction, and lets just say I’ve had better rides. But on the bright side, a four loop course meant I got to see my boyfriend four times at the turn around! And he snagged some pictures!IMG_0852

Run – Going out on that run was a battle from the start. All I wanted was to quit. It was hot, like really hot, and I was pissy, like really pissy. The heat was making it hard for me to eat, which means instead of the 800 calories I was trying to consume on the bike I only consumed 200. Plus my skin was really starting to burn from the sun. Even with carrying a mini spray bottle of sunscreen with me and reapplying every 60 minutes. But I forced myself to take a few steps, and then a few more, and went trotting down the course. The run was three loops, and thank goodness for that. Getting to see my boyfriend every 4.5ish miles was a life saver. And the aid stations had ice, nothing better when it’s hot out than ice down your bra! I am always so happy that the run is last in triathlon, it’s my favorite part and I’m pretty sure if the swim or the bike were last I would have thrown in the towel yesterday for sure. IMG_0869

Finish – I was feeling a special type of hurt when I crossed that finish line yesterday. I am not sure I have ever struggled so hard for something. But I knew if I had quit I would be in a pretty crappy emotional state after. The whole point of this race, in this city, on this date, was to get me mentally prepared to move away this week and start PA school. My self esteem could not have handled quitting. While I am proud I finished I feel like I could have trained better and had a better result. I finished 2 whole hours after the overall winner, which feels like a lot of hours. But I got it done, and now I have no more excuse not to pack and finish getting ready for my move!

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So Hot in SoCal

My training has been up and down this past week – had a few big training days – and a few complete rest days. I think this San Diego heat has been a bit much for me to venture out into. I have been trying to push through as much as I can since I know my 70.3 in a few weeks will be super hot! I’m doing the Chula Vista Challenge 70.3 on August 12th, and while the morning will likely be nice and overcast, by the time I have made it to the run it will be a scorcher!

Managed a 16 mile trail run on Saturday morning with my friend Jeremy. I have been trying to do a lot of my workouts with groups or one or two friends, makes it harder for me to bail. The weather held out for us, and the sun didn’t peak through the clouds until we were in our last mile! IMG_2936.JPGSo happy the heat took it easy on us, but I had tons of salt with me just in case!

A couple of days after that I managed a nice long bike ride up the coast with a friend from work. Had been AGES since I had been on my tri bike on the real road. Was a bit wobbly at first but it came back to me fairly quickly. As a bonus it was even a little misty while we were out there! Of course the remainder of the day I could barely do anything I was so wiped out. I’m just going to take that to mean my training is going well.

Here’s to another hard weekend of workouts – and hoping that the sun gives me a head start!