Thursday, October 27, 2016

So You Ran A Marathon, What's Next?

Running the Chicago Marathon was an absolute thrill. I had an amazing time and loved the course. Would I do it again? Of course...but not any time soon. You know how runner's get that high after their races and want to immediately sign up for the next one? Yeah that was NOT me after the Chicago Marathon.  I guess that high only happens to me when I complete a half marathon. So it made me think, what's next?

My coworkers think I am crazy for still wanting to run. What can I say I just love the sport! I just have a strong passion for running and I am glad that it hasn't dwindled. It's my stress reliever and I love it.  I've been on a few runs here and there but haven't ran anything longer than a 10k since the marathon. However, I have noticed that my pace is getting faster! I remember looking down at my watch at the half way point of the marathon and being shocked at my time, 1:58. Since then that time has been in my thoughts. What if I train extra hard and try to get a 1:55 for my next half marathon? Sounds reasonable right? So that's my next goal...get a PR for a half marathon.

*Disclaimer* Technically my "official" PR for a half marathon is 1:46 but my husband says that one doesn't count. I kind of agree with him and I kinda don't. That PR was for the Heavenly Half Marathon which is a complete downhill race in the mountains of Auberry, CA. Yes, the downhill helped tremendously but I was also in really good shape and was able to pull of that time due to all my training. But, in every other race I've ran I haven't even come close to that time.

My next race is actually in the middle of January which gives me time to come up with a killer 12 week training plan to get that PR! I'll be running the Carlsbad Half Marathon, a race I just love. It's a part of the triple crown which I am also planning on running next year. The triple crown consists of three of San Diego's finest running races. They are divided throughout the year with the last one being in August. I know getting multiple PR's a year is a bit tough so I am going to focus all my training on the Carlsbad Half Marathon

Another thing I signed up for doing next is running a Ragnar Race! Yep, that's if running a marathon wasn't tough enough right? I'll be running the Ragnar SoCal with my fellow coworkers so it should be fun. Well the not sleeping part and running in the middle of the night doesn't sound fun but at least I will be with good company. The course is supposed to be really pretty with a ton of coastal views so I am looking forward to trying something new. Since my group consists of 12 runners, each with different levels of training, I am hoping this will just be an enjoyable race. 

I had thought about possibly putting my name in the lottery for the NYC Marathon, but I am going to wait on that for a bit. I think I am going to really focus on my upcoming half marathons and Ragnar. That should definitely keep me occupied for the majority of next year. 

So I guess that answers my question of what I'll be doing now that I finished a marathon! Pretty excited for what's to come. Stay tuned for glimpses into my training program but definitely follow me on Instagram if you want more daily pictures of how my training is going. 

 Have you ever ran a Ragnar race?
 Any tips?

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

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fit Foodie Race Recap

I had every intention of not running any more races for the remainder of the year. Let's just say my body desperately needed a break after my marathon. Then a few days after coming back from Chicago, my brother told me he had some free entries for the Fit Foodie Race here in San Diego. Since I am not one to pass up a free race, I signed up for the 10k. And since I wanted to spread the love I got my husband and my friend Adam to run the race with me. My husband wasn't as thrilled at the idea of running a 10k as I was.

Have you ever ran the Fit Foodie Run? It is actually a pretty neat race that currently runs in 4 cities in the United States (with more cities to come in the future). It is not only a one day event but a three day event that focuses on living a balanced life with a healthy lifestyle. The Fit Foodie Race Weekend is jam-packed with celebrity chef tastings, culinary and fitness demonstrations, a 5k/10k race, and a pumped up sweat session. Since I only had a free entry for the race, I didn't partake in any of the other daily activities.

On race day you were able to pick up your bib and even sign up for the race if you hadn't done so already. My husband and I decided to pick up our race bib on Friday in order to avoid the long lines. On Saturday, we headed towards to the start line early in order to avoid the traffic. Unfortunately there was only ONE person running the parking garage at the convention center so there was a lot more traffic than anticipated. I don't understand why they wouldn't have more people running the parking garage when there was an event. It was just plain ridiculous. If I could say one negative thing about this even is this.

Once we finally arrived at the start line I met up with my brother to thank him for the free entries. I also met up with some fellow San Diego Bloggers before the race started. It was so nice to meet all these ladies. 

The race started five minutes later than scheduled but when it finally started it went smoothly. The first group was the fast 5k, then the 10k, followed by the remaining 5k runners. Literally not even a quarter of a mile into the race there was a casualty. My husband fell and I was dragged along with him. The fall wasn't very pretty. He chipped his phone; I landed on my knee and somehow managed to hurt my elbow. We got up right away though, and kept on running. Other than the sore knee I felt great. My husband could barely breathe since he was coming off of a pretty bad cold so he was hating life during the run. Since my pace was pretty good I ran ahead of our group. In the end though, I finished alongside my husband. 

The course was along the embarcadero. The 5k and the 10k course went off in different direction until meeting up again towards the end, Only when I met with the 5k runners did it feel a bit too crammed for me. Other than that I have no real complaints about the course.  And for being a small race there was enough waters stations to keep me hydrated. 

The best part of the entire race was the finish line. Never in all my races have I received so much free swag. Every where I turned people were handing me samples. From booth to booth, I kept pilling my bag with anything free that was given to me. When we were half way through checking out the booths, we ran into the beer garden. Not only were the samples free but the beer was free as well. The main beer sponsor was Stella and after a nice run, a cold beer was just what the doctor ordered. 

We stayed at the beer garden for a bit but we all had to run errands so we left to finish the remaining booths. At one of the final booths, I was able to meet the running legends Bill Rodgers and Meb! They are both truly inspirational. I've met Meb before at a few other races I've participated in but it was honor to meet Bill for the first time.

Would I run this race again? Hell yesss! After getting all the free swag, why wouldn't I? Currently the race is in four cities (San Diego, Tampa, Austin, and Fairfax) but hopefully more cities will be added to the list. So if you happen to live by any of these four locations I would highly recommend signing up for it!

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

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons,

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Special Thank You To My Husband

People warn you about how hard marathon training will be on your body. They also warn you about how much of a time commitment it will be.  Even knowing all this I still signed up because I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could still do it. With the loving support from my husband I started my training back in May. Yes, May! That means that for five months my poor husband, family, dogs, and even my house were neglected.

Honestly, I don't know how my husband put up with my training (or me for that matter). I would leave early in the morning and sometimes not get in until noon (depending on where I ran and for how long).  That meant that on some days all other chores wouldn't get done. This included the cooking, cleaning up the house, walking the dogs, and even laundry. I basically did the bare minimum the last five months. I mean let's be honest, after going for a long run the last thing you want to do is house chores. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep.  Not once did my husband complain though.  Not once did he discourage me from pursuing this goal of mine. In fact he listened to me when I needed to vent about a long run that didn't go well. He massaged my feet when I asked him to. He stepped up and helped with cleaning when he had time. He even continued to praise me for all my hard work. My husband just kept encouraging me to keep at it. He was/is my biggest cheerleader and for that and many more reasons I want to thank him.

I am truly lucky to have such an understanding husband. Dating or being married to a runner isn't for the faint of heart. Lets be honest, runners are freaking crazy. We literally sign up for the torture and then complain about the training process. We have this weird desire to continuously sign up for races in hopes of reaching PR's. My husband has heard it all: my struggles, my pains, even when I chaffed, and worst of all he's learned about my bowel movements during runs. Sorry may be a bit TMI but it gives you a glimpse of what my husband has to endure with me as his wife. Now you truly understand why my husband is wonderful. Even with all that, he continuous to love me. 

I count my lucky stars for having him by my side, my partner in life. He is my better half and I am so grateful for all his love and support. He just gets me. When I doubted myself during my marathon training he always had a way of making me feel better. He somehow made the worry go away. Thank you Dario for being there for me not only during these last five months of training but for every race since we have been together. Here's to more races and training cycles together!

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

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chicago Marathon Recap

Exactly one week ago, I finished the Chicago Marathon! I am still in awe of completing such an amazing accomplishment. I would have written this blog post sooner but unfortunately I got really sick right after the race and it has taken me a bit to recover. My poor husband got it worse than I did. He actually had to go to urgent care today to get some antibiotics. I was starting to feel under the weather a few days before the race, like the day before we even flew out to Chicago. I remember telling my husband that I felt it coming. Given how hard a marathon is on your body, I knew the second I was done with the race, my immune system would take a hit and I'd get sick. Sure enough that very night after the race by throat was hurting and I was starting to feel congested.

Anyways, back to my race recap! I want to start off by saying Chicago is amazing. This was my second time visiting the city and I fell in love with it even more this time around. I wanted to go to the expo on Friday before the race that way I would have all day Saturday to relax. Luckily there was a free shuttle from our hotel room to the convention center where the expo was being held. I am not really one to linger too much at expos mostly because they can be pretty jam packed and I just don't like feeling like a sardine in a can. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how spacious the Chicago Marathon Expo was. Not once did I feel crammed. The plan was to get my bib, buy a commemorative jacket and then high tail it out of there. We kinda did that but I managed to convince my husband that I needed a new Garmin. It helped that they had a special price during the expo. Afterwards we ended up getting a Lyft ride back to our hotel since the shuttles were taking too long. We already had plans for that night and we just didn't have time to waste.

Our hotel was super close to both the start and finish line. I actually had never had the pleasure of sleeping in and just walk to my start line on race day. It was nice since I had the luxury of using a real bathroom before the start of the marathon. No porta potty for me! I told my husband to sleep in and not worry about going with me to the start. He of course was more than excited to hear that! It was like music to his ears. Actually only runners were allowed into the park where our corrals were located. There was security everywhere checking to make sure only runners with bibs were allowed inside.

Once I was in my corral the nerves just kicked into overdrive! The heart was pounding and the butterflies were kicking in big time. I was actually able to see the sunrise towards the lake which helped calm my nerves a bit. I was in wave 2 which I knew meant it would take awhile to get me to the start. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how fast everything went. I really didn't wait that long after the first wave considering my corral was towards the end. Another bonus was the weather. It was great! I couldn't have asked for better weather throughout the marathon. The temp was in the 50s and sunny. I did have a throwaway long sleeved t-shirt to keep me warm until the race started but I quickly got rid of that.

At a little after 8:00am it was my time to start! It was go time! I have a really close friend of mine who had run the marathon a few years back and she told me I would love the course. Well she was 100% correct. From the beginning to the end, there was not one part of the course where fans/supporters were out there cheering us on. I couldn't even listen to my music during certain parts of the course because they were cheering so loud! I think I was smiling from ear to ear the first six miles. I was in awe of how amazing the fans/supporters were.  I didn't even realize how fast I was going until my friend text me saying my 5K was a sub 9 minute pace. I blame the fans. Their cheers were pushing me to keep going. I knew I was going out way too fast but I felt great so I just told myself to just keep listening to my body. Before I knew I had reached the half way point (13.1 miles) and my watch said 1:58! I was elated at that time but I knew then that I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace. At that point, I was also looking for my husband. We had talked about meeting up at mile 13 but I couldn't find him. Since my pace was a lot faster than we both anticipated, he had missed me so he just went straight to mile 16.

I can't even express how ecstatic I was to see my husband at mile 16. He cheered me on for a bit, even ran by my side for a minute. The smile on my face from the picture he took of me pretty much sums up how great I was feeling up to that point. I can say with all honestly that when mile 18 came along I was hating life. I was no longer smiling. I didn't think I would hit my wall that soon but I did. I wasn't cramping up but my body was starting to just shut down on me. The legs felt tired and I could feel my shoulders tense up. I wasn't even sweating anymore and needed to find a restroom STAT. I was getting a bit scared that I might be showing signs of heat stroke so I started to walk at the aid stations instead of running through them like I had done. I made sure to eat all my gels and ate bananas when offered to me. I knew I had to run smart from that point on. The last few miles were slow...a lot slower than I wanted. I was calculating my pace and realized I could still get my goal time if I pushed through the pain. Getting to that time helped me to speed up a bit. The closer I got to the finish line the louder it got from people cheering. It was exactly what I needed to cross and finish strong. When I looked down at my watch and saw 4:14 I started to cry. I had beat my goal time and reached a marathon PR!

The Chicago Marathon has now become my favorite race EVER! I don't know if it was a combination of the flat course, the awesome fans, or my marathon PR but I think the main reason I loved this race was because all my hard work paid off. All those months of putting in the work, all those months of waking up early, were all worth it. At the finish line I was given my medal and I all I could do was just stare at it. This is what I had trained for the last five months. Since I was a bit dehydrated, drinking that beer felt so refreshing. All I wanted to do was find my husband, hug him and thank him for all the support during my training.

I don't have any plans of running a marathon any time soon, but I would definitely do this one again for these reasons:
  • The expo was great.
  • There was security patrolling during the entire race so I felt safe the whole course.
  • I loved my medal, my t-shirt, and my free swag.
  • There was a perfect amount of aid stations.
  • During the course there was plenty of porta potties if needed.
  • I've mentioned this many times already but the support from fans was unreal!
  • The race is organized so well considering it is a very massive undertaking.
  • The beer at the end, Goose Island!
  • Free massages at the post race party (sadly I didn't partake in this)

So what now?
I am not sure.
All I know is that I am a marathoner once again and I am loving life!

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

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

Friday, October 7, 2016

5 Things That Keep Me Inspired

Staying fit and healthy can be hard when you can't stay motivated. I know I have my share of days when I truly have no desire to workout. Those are the days that I have to really get it together and fight through it. Here are some of the things I do to motivate myself to push through:

1. Change Up My Workouts: If I feel like I am in a rut when it comes to my workouts then I know it's time to change it up. I'll go for a bike ride, take a long hike, find a good spin class nearby, or even take up yoga.

2. Update My Playlist: I have made it no secret that I love listening to music when I workout. I constantly try to keep my playlist with the latest upbeat music to keep me going. Right now while running I have been using my awesome wireless headphones from AfterShokz. Those headphones are wonderful! They are not only safe to run in but they are sweat proof. For every unit sold through October 31st, 2016 on, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink – a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education.

3. Treat Myself: Yep that's right. I am a firm believer in treating myself for my hard work. This could either be a pedicure, a massage, or even a new book to read. It's something I look forward to and definitely keeps me pushing to get out there and run or just complete a hard workout.

4. Family: My family means the world to me. I actually moved back home in order to spend more time with them. One of the people that I am grateful to have in my life is my beautiful cousin Bianca. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the very young age of 24. She continues to inspire me to keep going and above all she continues to teach me to stay positive even when things get difficult. She has such a great outlook on life which I believe played a big part on her now being cancer free.

5. Running For A Cause: Just in the last few years I have had a lot of loved ones affected by cancer. I unfortunately even had a beautiful niece pass away from lymphoma. It was a very difficult time for me dealing with her death, but instead I turned it into something positive. I started running for a cause. I wanted to bring awareness to all types of cancers. It was then that I started running in honor of her. Every race I feel she is with me and guiding me towards that finish line.

What keeps you going?

Other places you can find me:
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands the support the Sweat Pink community. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Anxiety Before Race Day: Chicago Marathon

This entire week I have been having so much anxiety over the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. I think about it and I feel like screaming. I have worked so hard for this upcoming race but I am terrified that it was all just a waste of time. Crazy right? I started off wanting to finish in 4h15min but now I am settling with just crossing that finish line. Don't get me wrong crossing that finish line would be an accomplishment in itself but I wanted to push myself to do my very best. Right now I don't think I can do it. Right now the anxiety is taking over. Right now I am second guessing my entire training. 

I shouldn't doubt all my hard work. I know I have put in the time and miles. Some runs were better than others but I stuck with it and made it to my longest run of 22. Somehow I can't seem to wrap my brain around the concept of trusting my training though. Ugh! Even just writing about the marathon makes my skin crawl. I remember feeling this way for my first few races. I couldn't really sleep or eat because of the nerves. This week has been just like that! It's like deja vu! 

We arrive today and will be in Chicago until Monday evening. Even with all the nerves, I am excited about going back to the windy city. I am also excited my husband is taking a few days off and visiting Chicago with me. Best part is that he has a ton of family that lives in Chicago so he gets to visit them and I get to meet them for the first time. They are already planning on cheering me on at mile 24 on Sunday and hosting a little bbq for me after the race! Throughout this whole training plan my husband has been amazing. He has been my rock and biggest supporter. 

I'm hoping by race day, the nerves will settle and everything will fall into place. I am going to just truly enjoy the run and make the most of my time in Chicago. Here goes nothing guys! Wish me luck!

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

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons