Monday, June 13, 2016

Recovering From A Half Marathon

Last Sunday wasn't my first half marathon. To be honest, I don't even know how many half marathons I've actually ran. I kinda stopped counting after a few years.  I guess I could count my medals but then again with my many moves in the last few years, some have been lost in the shuffle. The number really doesn't count though. Each race is different. Each race you set different goals and you either achieve them or learn from mistakes you might have done in your training.

The San Diego Rock n Roll was different for me this time around. I started off with two goals: run pain free and to break 2:00. But from the beginning I followed a training plan. However, halfway through my training my goals changed. I was no longer focused on getting that PR but to figure out what my marathon pace would be for the Chicago Marathon. No I didn't get an overall PR, but I did get my best time for this specific race and I was able to run pain free. I legitimately put in the time and effort to make this race one of my best training cycles (given a few setbacks). I put in the miles, the sweat, and yes even the tears to this training plan and come race race day every thing just aligned!

In the past I kind of just "winged" it when it came to half marathon training. I felt like I really didn't need a training plan since I had ran so many of these before. Sounds cocky right? Well I didn't think of it that way until I started reflecting during this past week of recovery. In all honesty my way of thinking was downright stupid and careless. You always need a training plan to have a healthy training cycle and to prevent injury. I look back on the races where I had no plan and realize now why I was always injured. I would either run to much too fast or just didn't run enough and my recovery time was way longer than it should be. 

I took a week off from running after this race. I focused on resting and letting my body heal naturally. I stretched and did yoga almost daily and it felt wonderful. I felt revived and eager to start a new training plan. Only on one of those days did I test my legs out with a 20 minute bike ride around my hilly neighborhood. After that day I knew I was ready. Ready to take on my next challenge. Ready to start this physical and emotional rollercoaster of marathon training. The Chicago Marathon is in 16+ weeks and I truly hope that by October I will be ready. I know that I have the will to make this my best marathon!

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons,

Monday, June 6, 2016

Race Recap: San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon

I have ran this half marathon numerous times and every year I love it more and more. Maybe it is because it is a local race or maybe it is because I run this race with great friends...whatever the reason I honestly can say enough great things!

So far this has been my only half scheduled for this year. After running six last year, I figured I should let my legs heal and rest for a bit. That has been a challenge in its self since San Diego has so many great races to choose from. But in the end I listened to my body and just kept it to this one (so far). When I started training I had a goal to try to get a PR for this course. When I got in to the Chicago Marathon, my set goal went out the window. This race time was going to determine my goal time for Chicago. In essence this race was key to how well I will be doing for my upcoming marathon.

I picked up my bib on Friday. I figured there would be too many people on Saturday so I wanted to avoid the crowd. The expo was like any other expo. They had their official merchandise gear for sale right at the entrance. Sneaky, sneaky...but I didn't fall for it. As much as I wanted to buy some of the gear, I opted out to save my bank account. My hubby went with me so I knew I wouldn't have much time to really shop around or check out the booths (he hates shopping). Surprisingly though, he lasted a lot longer than I thought. We tried a whole bunch of different samples and then left when our stomachs started to hate us for mixing so much crap! lol

Since I picked up my packet early, all I had to do on Saturday was rest up and carb load. Sunday morning I was picked up by my friend's girlfriend (thank you Corrine!) which made it so much easier for me. My hubby was going to pick us all up, but we ended up finding someone else to take us back (thank you Ana!).

We were trying to figure out when we started to all run together but really didn't come up with a final answer. I think I started running this race with them maybe two years after they started. Ben and Adam have been so kind to get me a free race entry every year. I know, I feel pretty special. Races can be pretty costly so getting in to this one for free is freaking amazing!

The starting line was insanely packed! This year they decided to bunch the full and half marathon runners together. Calm me crazy but that just seemed a bit too much. We got there early enough to use the restroom (or so we thought), but then we heard the national anthem while we were still waiting inline to use the porta potties. I started to kinda stress since I had a good coral number and it didn't look like we were going to make it. I looked behind me and still saw a bunch of people waiting in line so I didn't feel to bad. Even though all runners started at the same time, I think the number of restrooms was still the same as last year. By the time we finally finished the race had already started and somehow got into coral eleven.

Even though there was well over 30,000 runners, I did not feel crammed which was a relief. One of my biggest fears was starting the race slow due to too many people. From the beginning my music never turned on. Music saves me all the time when I start to get tired, but I had nothing to listen to. Luckily my friend Adam and I ran together for the majority of the race. He really helped me keep my pace.

The course in itself was pretty flat with just a few hills around Balboa Park. This year the race ended in a new place so the last three miles were mostly downhill. That helped a lot after running the hills. One of the main reasons I love this race is because not only do you get to run around the San Diego neighborhoods, but you also get to see how amazing the locals are. They come out and support big time! Makes me proud to live here. I felt good throughout the whole race...never too tired. I did feel my calves tighten during certain parts but somehow it would just go away. Mind over matter I suppose! Around mile 10, I just got this surge of energy. Maybe it was because the downhill portion was coming but it helped me get my final time of 2:00! My Garmin stopped temporarily during the course so I wasn't sure what my final time was until it uploaded online. I guess that means it might be time for a new watch after all (hint, hint hubby!).

At the finish line, I waited for my friend Adam (he followed pretty close behind me) and just started grabbing all the free crap I could carry. Haha! My coworker found me at the finish line. He rocked the race! He managed to get a 1:54 and only signed up for the race two weeks ago! Way to go Nate!!

While we waited for Ana and Ben to get our free beer, we just walked around and stretched whenever we could. The park at the end was big enough to host all of us. I hadn't drank in over a month to fully prepare for this race, so even this beer tasted lovely.

So remember I said I get a free entry every time to this race? Well we used to also get a free entry to the VIP area but sadly that was taken away from us. We may or may not have taken advantage of the all you can drink mimosas...whoops! Luckily this year we were granted access just when we were heading out. So we got to hang out with the cool kids. Oh and this year we limited the amount of beverages we consumed. So maybe next year we can get full access just like old times.

Oh yeah and one of the cool kids was none other than Meb! This is my second time getting a picture with him. Unfortunately my picture was a bit blurry. Can I just say he is not only an amazing runner but a genuinely great person.


Until next year Rock n Roll!
Thank you for yet another great race.
Time to rest up and start training for my marathon.

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons,