The Come Back

So, I really wanted this space to be about fitness and running. I wanted to show the highs and lows of the training and diets and fun events my friends and I do throughout the year. And while that is still the intention, I have found that my life has taken a bit of a turn and I have neglected this blog. My excuse…. I am pregnant! My husband and I are expecting our first bambino in May 2013.

Baby! Coming May 2013!

While I am over the moon ecstatic about this, I have not written anything here because I have been struggling with the idea that fitness and pregnancy can still belong together. I am not struggling with the idea that they belong together in general, because I totally believe that they do, but more so that anyone would want to read about my journey. The ideas of PR’s and new distances have had to be stored away for later retrieval. I have done one 10k race while pregnant and will not schedule another one until after my son is here. The urge to train harder, run faster, catch that guy in front of me is just too ingrained to let it go. Monitoring the scale and planning what I eat have been for an entirely new purpose. I have had to adjust my idea of fitness to balance with my “delicate” condition. I hate that saying! I don’t want to be delicate; I still want to be strong! I had every intention of writing about the adventures of my husband and my friends and their continued training but I find that it is so boring only looking from the outside in. I want to be involved too! A lot of pregnancy is a huge list of things you can’t do, so adding another element of my life that made me feel left out was not inspiring. So, this is the change. Hopefully someone out there wants to hear about my crazy path through pregnancy while still being as fit and as healthy as I can be. For the next couple months anyways, this blog is going to be about fitness through pregnancy as well as including the adventures of friends along the way. I figure the only way I will really enjoy this space is to make it my own. Cheers to the Come Back, to this blog anyways!

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Upcoming Races and the Start of Tailgating Season

So having made it past Labor Day, I am trying to quit mourning the end of summer and am trying to embrace fall. What are the two best things about fall? The cooler weather that allows me to take my runs outside and football season. Other than that, I want summer back! Ok, enough whining, I’m done!

I have two races coming up.

Galena Fest

The first is the Galena Fest trail run September 30th.  This trail is called The Wicked Thorn, which doesn’t give me a lot of confidence. I am not the best trail runner but I figure the only way to get better is to get out there and just get it done, dirt and all. I mean, I own trail shoes, they have to get dirty, right? The Wicked Thorn is an out & back of 7.3 miles and 1,400 feet of elevation gain.

 

The Wicked Thorn

 

Great Basing Brew Relay

The second is the Great Basin Brew Relay. This race is a 4 person relay race that totals 40 miles. The route is an out and back through Reno and Sparks along the Truckee River. This race is November 3rd.

Anyone want to come out and join us for either of these events?

So with those being declared, I have to seriously think about my training. I have three weeks until the trail run and eight weeks until the relay. Races are totally awesome for keeping me accountable!

Aside from running, football starts this week! We are fans and alumni of the University of Nevada Reno. Being true fans, you can be sure to find us tailgating before games and this Saturday is the season home opener. Tailgates are awesome for my need to socialize but awful for my diet and training. I can’t say no to chips and dip, almost anything on the grill and, of course, a cold beer on ice! The NFL is also awful for my running. Sometimes, waking up on Sunday morning, the idea of a mimosa and breakfast and then pizza and beer while watching NFL games all day is so much more appealing than a long run with a protein shake.

So, the next couple weeks are going to be about becoming a stronger trail runner, getting ready to be a part of another relay and trying to not gain hundreds of pounds while proving what a football fan I am!

Are you a trail runner?

How do you keep yourself accountable in your training?

What is your favorite tailgate food and beverage?

Sub 8:00 minutes/mile, skinny knees & a full marathon

If you can’t tell by the title of this post, there are three things I really want right now.

                A long run with sub 8 minutes/mile average pace

                Killer legs with skinny knees

                To kick a full marathon’s ass

 

The truth is, I am a long way from any of these but a girl has got to dream right? And I need something to work towards! So many times when I want to quit in a workout, I try to remember what made me start in the first place. It helps me to have a couple of incentives as sometimes one is just not enough.

Today’s’ workout was leg focused on the weights and 400m repeats on the treadmill. I had a major accomplishment for me today as I workout out with 135 lbs on my squats. Hello? That is a big plate on each side people! I used to be afraid of lifting heavy and bought into the whole “too much weight will make me look bulky and manly”. Well guess what?  Too much fat makes you bulky too! I’m a genius, I know! After enough research, reading about what some of my favorite runners and fitness role models do, fighting about it with my husband and constantly bugging my trainer friends, I don’t really think I believe that anymore. When I commit to weights and running, I have actually leaned out and gotten stronger at the same time! Plus, I have seen some super fit (and tiny) girls at my gym squatting way more than that. If they got those butts with heavy weights, then I am all in. I also did some major leg presses and some front and back lunges. Every time I wanted to stop I checked out my knees/legs in the mirror and kept going. Not there yet, but working on it.

After weights I ran on the treadmill (I hate the treadmill but didn’t feel like whining about the heat outside today). I decided to do 8 repeats of 400m (0.25 miles) hoping to prevent treadmill boredom. I am a pretty consisted 9:00 to 9:30 minutes/mile runner. I want to be able to lay down low 8’s like it is no big deal! So I decided to run near my goal! I pumped up the treadmill and forced myself to feel what 8:00 minutes/mile felt like, at least for a quarter-mile at a time.  Just FYI, I always run with 2.0% incline. I find, for me, it translates from treadmill to outside running better. The first repeats were fine but the middle ones were rough. It was about the fifth repeat that I really wanted to just stop. This time I forced myself to consider what it will feel like to tell my next relay team that I was a sub 8 minute/mile runner or what it will feel like when I push for a full marathon. This was enough to get me through all 8 cycles. I actually started enjoying this workout about the seventh and eighth repeats!

Not there yet, but working to get closer!

Looking for a Local Race?

I love running races! Whether it is a fun run or a team relay that involved months of training and preparation, I absolutely love the race atmosphere. I am not good enough yet to actually race against other people (there is usually no chance in hell I am going to place among the top runners) but I love to race against myself! Whether it is a new distance or a personal PR, the race day challenge and atmosphere is always something to look forward to. Races provide me with great runners to try and emulate and newer runners to cheer on and encourage. I never expected strangers to be so supportive but runners really are! Races remind me of how exciting it was to finish my first few races but they also remind me that I have so much more to keep working towards. I have talked to numerous people nervous and intimidated about trying out a race but I have to tell you, from my experience, there is no more supportive place than the starting line and/or finish line of a race!

I am really proud of my local community as it seems there are more and more local races being offered. Local races are smaller and less intimidating (but I promise the really big races are usually just as supportive!), less expensive without having to deal with travel costs etc, and a really great way to support local causes and businesses. Here are a few upcoming local races/ triathlons /events that I have heard about!

DU Reno 40k Duathlon Series, August 19, 2012 and September 23, 2012

                A run-bike-run format.

Riken 30k Challenge September 9, 2012            

                This is a two person team event that combines running and biking.

Try Eryn Tri Sprint Triathlon September 9, 2012

RGJ Journal Jog 2012 8k September 16, 2012

Color Me Rad Reno 5k September 22, 2012

Lake Tahoe Marathon September 28-30, 2012 

                Tons of events! 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, a 20 miler, marathons, 50& 72  mile Ultras,  relays, triathlons, etc!

Run for Education 5k October 21, 2012

Trick or Treat 5k October 28, 2012

Anything is Possible 5k November 4,2012

Turkey Trot 2012 November 22, 2012

Reno-Nosed Run December 2, 2012

Whether you are a serious racer (aka: badass), a newbie (woohooo!) or like me and somewhere in between, try out one of these races! If you have ever had an interest in running, use anything you can think of to get you to the starting line. Just do it! Call a friend and make a commitment to do it together or get the whole family involved. Start a weight loss plan and make workout plans that will get you ready for one of these races. Make a bet with a super competitive friend. Set a PR goal and try some speed work to get your booty where it needs to be. Come up with a run/walk plan. Design a fun costume you can wear to the race. No matter what your reason for getting started and how you do it, just get up and get there. I promise it will be worth it!

Know of any local events I missed? These are ones that I am considering but I would love to hear of more Comment with the details and I will add them to the list! Let’s keep these events successful and growing in our area!

Needing Motivation!

 

 This week, I have had no motivation!  So I thought maybe an internet search could help me out. After all, you can find anything online, right? The first thing that came up was a definition for motivation.

  1. giving of reason to act: the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something
  2. enthusiasm: a feeling of enthusiasm, interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something, or something that causes such a feeling

Seems simple right? WRONG! Shall we analyze?

A Reason to Act 

Duh! Its summer which means I usually end up in a bathing suit most weekends. Its 100° outside which means any chance of wearing jeans, sweats, long sleeved tees or baggy sweatshirts is totally ridiculous and anything less than that requires showing some skin. The reason to workout should be obvious and totally sweating its way into my subconscious every second of the day. But….such hot weather also means any chance of me being able to run outside (I hate the treadmill) is basically me choosing to sweat out every single ounce of fluid in my body. I am not being dramatic. If you have ever ran/worked out with me, you understand how much I sweat! Isn’t my husband a lucky man?

 

 

 

Oh yeah, hot weather also makes me want to BBQ and nothing goes better with the grill than and ice cold beer. I know runners need carbs, but I probably don’t need them if I keep skipping out on runs in order to drink those carbs.  Again, duh!

 

 

 

 

Also there is this little issue of goal setting. I have recently been thinking of same vague goals I have in terms of running. I want to set a new 5k PR. I have only run one 5k race (29:36) and it was nothing I had trained for and was an out and back with a great hill climb. Great race, not so great for a realistic 5k pace analysis. I usually destroy that time in training runs and I really want to find a 5k race to see what I can do. I think I can break into the 25 minute range. Also, I want to break the 2 hour time for a half marathon. My first half ever was in May 2012 and I finished with a 2:04:23. My second half was the SF First Half Marathon in July 2012 and with almost no training (my last long run in double digits was the half in May!) I ran a 2:06:04. What does this tell me? That I am a wimp! I really think my time/pace for the half is more in my head than my body. I KNOW I can run under the 2 hour time and now I just need to train for it and prove it!

 Enthusiasm              

This is tricky. I am currently on enthusiasm overload! My past two weeks have involved staying up every night past midnight to watch the Olympics while trying to do flips and spins in my living room and  making plans on going  to the track to time and compare my 400m splits to those I have watched (I am sure they are totally close!). If not one single part of the Olympics gives you enthusiasm for some competition, then I sincerely doubt we will get along! My problem comes with the fact that staying up so late and still making it to work the next morning is severely limiting my sleep which translates into no enthusiasm for actually working out.  A late night of Olympic fascination and workout planning/ scheming will lead to a sleepy morning which leads to very little workout activity during the next day and then the next night’s Olympic schedule starts the same process over again!

My excuse? The Olympics and 100° weather has ruined my life! No but I seriously need to get back on track. I seem to do better when I have specific events I am training for so that is the plan.  The husband and I are in the process of officially deciding which events we are going to be doing next. As much as I would love to do a huge, destination race every weekend, the cost of traveling all the time is something my bank account just can’t take. So the next couple of events will be more local and hopefully on the less expensive side.  Details to come soon, basically as soon as Wes and I can agree/agree to disagree!

 

Any other suggestions for finding/keeping/producing/forcing motivation are greatly appreciated/needed!

The images contained in this post were found by doing internet/pinterest searches and saved some time ago. At the time I didn’t even have this blog up and running and really had no plans for using them other than for personal encouragement. I apologize for not having all of the sources where they came from!

SF First Half Marathon-Sunday July 29, 2012

Well, we survived! That feels like quite an accomplishment right there considering the serious lack of training that happened for this race but let’s start at the beginning.

Saturday we drove to the city and made out way to the expo. Rewind, we first had to stop at the Under Armour Outlet in Vacaville because we totally to not have enough workout clothing (please read that with the intended sarcasm in which it was wrote). Anyways we finally made it to the city, to the hotel and hopped in a cab to go to the expo. I ended up being really sad that we got a cab instead of walking because we passed a naked bicycle parade on the way and we passed it way too fast for my tastes! Not that I wanted to check out anyone in particular, it was more that I am interested in how someone physically rides a bike naked. It seems like a chafing nightmare to me. Anyways, we made it to the expo, picked up our bibs, checked out every exhibitor there, meet Bart Yasso, and finally decided we needed to leave and rest more/geek out over running stuff less. So we headed back to the hotel, found a super market for breakfast preparation, found a place for dinner, set out all of our clothing, and made it to bed by 9:00pm! Wake up call was set for 4:00am!

We decided to head down to the starting line at 4:45am. Our wave was as 5:42am and we were supposed to be in our corral 20 minutes before that. Our hotel was great and less than a 10 minute walk from the start. I had no comprehension what this many fellow runners would feel like. I was expecting it just to be the Wes and I on our walk to the start. It wasn’t! The streets were packed with runners heading that way. It was so fun talking to others and all moving towards the race!  I felt like I had tons of new friends who are all crazy like me and so we get up in complete darkness to be crazy runner together! We got to the race start, checked our bag in, used the bathrooms (tons of port-a-potties available!) and went to the start. The Bay Bridge was beautiful behind us with its lights and the sky was still dark. I clicked on my watch, put my headphones in my ears and waited to start.

Off we went. Since neither of us had trained for this at all very much, we decided to try not turning on our music until we needed it. We started tunes free and I really just loved hearing the stomping and flapping of so many runners near us. It was colder and a little breezier than I had expected but that had to be due to being right next to the bay. While the first mile hurt (it always sucks) before I knew it we were at the first water station, about 2.7 miles in. We had also decided to walk through every water station and make sure we stayed hydrated. Right out of this aid station was our first  hill. It was just enough to slow everyone down and allow us to pick us some serious roadies! I guess living in Reno and training for things like the Reno Tahoe Odessey makes us still hate hills decent hill runners. This entire course was littered with little hills throughout the 13.1 miles. The best thing I can say about hills is that you totally feel like a bad ass when you make the top and anything you go up you get to fly down! We were running through tons of spectators and a line of memorial flag holders and before I knew it we had passed mile 5 and were about to head up to the Golden Gate Bridge. So by now I was expected it to start hurting but so far I was still feeling great. We were maintaining about a 9 min/mile pace and tempting thoughts of breaking 2 hours were floating in my head. Running on the bridge was fun. The intense fog was hiding the beautiful views I was expecting but I found I was having way more fun people watching since this portion was an out and back. I saw one of the leaders (maybe top 50ish or so men) completely decked out as Minnie Mouse. I saw a couple people fully dressed and painted like cats. One of those chicks passed me like I was standing still! I saw a dude in full out S&M, complete with leather studded booty shorts and a neck chain and maybe handcuffs (not totally sure, maybe he just held his arms together and very close!). I saw some sorority sisters staying strong and working to complete their first half marathon. The only thing I didn’t like about the bridge was the medal joint coverings on the ground. Even though they were protruded, they were still very slippery and I was worried about falling. They were just big enough to through off my natural stride as I tried to avoid them all together. I’m sure I looked amazing like a total idiot as I tried to skip over these. Needless to say the bridge flew by and before I knew it we had ran it out and back and were now at about mile 9.5. Still no music and to be honest, I totally forgot I even had my I-pod!

Off of the bridge we headed through a beautiful neighborhood and towards Golden Gate Park. This area made me wish I lived in San Francisco to train. The rolling hills through the neighborhood were awful towards the end of this course but it would be great for training runs. Just long enough to start to feel the burn and then a sweet small downhill to recover and then repeat. We kept steadily working our way to the end. At one point Wes told me that is we could push to about an 8:30 pace for the remaining distance we could possible break 2 hours. He told me that on a downhill part so I instantly pushed to just around and 8:00pace thinking I was going to kill it. Oops, I didn’t see the next rolling hill in front of me! A 2 hour finish was totally not happening! We made our way to the finish line and just when I told Wes I had nothing left to kick with, something inside told me to do it anyways and we picked up the pace for the last final stretch in. Finish time was 2:06:04. A nice surprise given I have not ran any decent distance runs since my last half back in May, which was also my first half ever. I am NOT an experienced runner and it was really nice to see some of the other training I do still keeps me in some kind of running shape.

After the finish line I wrapped up in a space blanket. This was the biggest race I have ever done and the first that gave these out. I think I look amazing wrapped in plastic foil! Seriously, no!  That was a total joke in case you don’t know me. We proceeded to the food line and the buses and called it a day, running wise anyways. We had Giants tickets for later and of course there was a need for beer carb recovery!

This race was awesome! Coming from a much smaller town the sheer size of this race made it a completely new experience. I would really recommend it to anyone. It was run so smoothly and was so accommodating to runners of any and every level. By looking at the finishing times I believe that the second half is somewhat faster/easier than the first half. I am thinking of running the second half next year for comparison.

Special thanks to my husband Wes for running with me and encouraging me when the hills tried to take me down! You are a beast and you make me a stronger runner and the best I can be! Thank you and I love you!