St Patrick’s Day Weekend in Photos

So when I typed in the title of this post I thought that it sounded a little familiar… Turns out I did this same post exactly one year ago with the same title.

One difference? In that post, in my description of my Saturday morning run, I boasted that “I was running at a really slow pace (9:57/mi), so I decided to go for extra distance and broke 3 miles! For the first time since before Thanksgiving! :-D”

I ran a FEWWWW more than 3 miles this weekend…

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13.1 to be exact…

And I averaged 8:59/mile!!

I am definitely planning on posting a complete recap of the race itself, but it wasn’t the only great thing that happened this weekend! I had a serious case of the Sunday blues last night, and if Mondays weren’t my busiest day of the workweek, I totally would have taken today off to ice my legs/cry myself back to sleep because the best weekend ever had to come to an end.

It all started on Friday evening – My brother spontaneously texted me and asked if I wanted to check out our family friend’s food truck with him. They were parking at Bike Dog, a local brewery I’ve been wanting to check out anyway!

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The food truck, Slightly Skewed, has some awesome skewers. I got bulgogi beef and brussels sprouts, and split an order of smashed fried potatoes with my brother (they’re smothered with sriracha and an tangy cilantro sauce). Our longtime neighbor Ben came too and got pork belly…omg.

I also tried a half pint each of their Pale Ale and IPA. I decided to buy a half growler of the IPA to share with Tyler once he arrived!

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Tyler arrived from SoCal around 9:30 and I took him out to meet up with my friends, enjoy some beers, and see a couple of my regular Sacramento spots. It was nice to catch up since I hadn’t seen him since 4th of July when we both visited our former housemate in San Francisco.

The next morning, Chris picked us up to head to Old Sacramento for a surprise birthday brunch! My friend Danny surprised his girlfriend (our friend) Courtney. She had no idea that 20 of her friends were waiting for her at Rio City Cafe in matching TEAM COURTNEY shirts!

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I got the brisket hash and it seriously hit the spot. I was on the fence about whether I’d indulge in bottomless mimosas the day before our race, but my love of the orange juice & champagne drink got the best of me and I caved. Slow and steady was the name of the game 😉

It was an absolutely gorgeous 75 degree day. We were seated outside with a view of the river, the Old Sacramento St Patty’s Day  Courtney’s Birthday Parade came through, and we all just laughed and enjoyed ourselves all afternoon!

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Tyler and I walked the mile and a half back to my apartment (umm, maybe an even worse choice than bottomless mimosas the day before our race) to hydrate and take it easy before meeting up with more friends who were on a St Patty’s day pub crawl.

We didn’t partake in many more drinks, and split off from the group to get burritos (last minute carb loading!) and rest up. We had an opportunity for a quick reunion with our college friend Lindsey who was stopping through town, so I took them to LowBrau and we all drank ice water and caught up 😛

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We were home by 10pm with a 6:45 wake up call, so after pinning our bibs, it was off to bed!

I woke up at 6am and was too excited to go back to sleep, so as soon as I heard Tyler’s alarm go off in the other room I sprang out of bed and yelled “IT’S RACE DAY!”…I’m sure he was pleased.

After some toast, peanut butter, and bananas, Chris picked us up and we headed to Raley Field. I don’t know how the guys were feeling, but if they were nervous they weren’t showing it! I was bouncing off the walls with excitement and nerves…and also because I was freezing.

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13.1 miles later…we made it!

I’ll save the nitty gritty details for another post, but suffice it to say the race went extremely well. We stayed together most of the race, then broke off at mile 13, but we all finished within 1 minute of each other. Chris led the pack at around 1:57:08 and I followed at 1:57:37, with Tyler at 1:58:10 (major props toooo ChronoTrack).

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That being said, miles 11-13 were hard. Like, insanely hard. I knew I would finish, but I was so exhausted (probably because we were averaging <9 min/mile!) and I was convinced I would never regain feeling in my legs. Two things got me through that last mile: 1) motivating words of encouragement from Chris, and 2) a high five from my mom with about a half mile left. Even though 95% of my training runs were solo, I seriously don’t know how I would have done this without the boys. We were in it together!

After our finish line beers, KIND bars, and bananas, we went home to shower and recover. Luckily, Chris’s apartment complex has an [unheated] pool, which we lounged by while sticking our feet in. It was like an ice bath, and it was probably the best recovery tool I used all day!!

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The next best recovery tool: an end of season dodgeball/St Patty’s day barbecue! A few guys on my team asked me (the team captain) to organize it, and it was the perfect way to cap off my half marathon day. We drank straw-ber-itas, ate lots of meat (PROTEIN!) and veggie kabobs, played ladder golf & cornhole, and Yvette even brought a pinata!

I seriously couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day, and more perfect weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Congrats to everyone else who completed the Shamrock’n!

For half marathoners- what was the highlight of your first half marathon?

What is your favorite drinking holiday? St Patty’s actually ranks pretty high on my list!

Fitness Friday — FINAL Half Marathon Training Update!

It’s here you guys…my race is THIS WEEKEND.

holy shit

CUE MAJOR FREAK OUT

After 14+ weeks of training, buckets of energy supplements and protein powder, hours of knee brace wearing, and many many early mornings…my half marathon is here!

To see why I chose to sign up for a half marathon, click here… and also be sure to check out training updates #1 and #2 and #3!

On Wednesday during my lunch break, I went to pick up my race packet (I knew they’d be slammed later in the week so I went as early as possible), as well as Tyler’s and Chris’s…

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forgot to customize my bib…. #fail

As I picked up our shirts, bibs, shamrock tattoos, and all.the.safety.pins, it really started to hit me. I’m running a HALF MARATHON this weekend.

I’m not going to lie to you guys- I’m really really nervous. I have had crazy dreams every night this week, which I’m convinced are anxiety-fueled.

But as I’ve talked to more friends who have run half marathons, my nerves have been calmed little by little. I know that I’m ready for this. I’ve been training diligently since December, and I’m on track to hit my pace goal. Here’s where I was last time I checked in:

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And here is my completed training plan!

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It was so weird only running 2 miles yesterday, you guys. I really wanted to go 3, but I convinced myself to stop at 2 because I knew I would be walking to work and that I had dodgeball later in the evening. Tapering is important!

Thoughts on my Last Weeks:

aches & pains

I’m happy to report that my knee pain has been minimal these last couple of weeks. It gives me a bit of grief from time to time on my shorter runs — probably because I’m running faster and on pavement — but otherwise it’s all good in the hooood. There were a couple of times where I was a little sore on Friday/Saturday or Mon/Tues from dodgeball on Sunday or Thursday evenings, but that’s nothing a little stretching can’t help!

This week, I ran a super speedy 5K (26:57, a new PR!) on Tuesday, skipped my Wednesday weight work out in favor of 45 more minutes of sleep and 8 Minute Abs, and a quick 2 miles yesterday. I’m hoping the extra rest will be a good thing come Sunday morning!

I’m thinking about taking Tyler on a bike ride tomorrow so he can see the course (it’s on a bike trail), but I’ve been reading that vigorous activity is to be avoided the day before the race. Any insight??

lifestyle changes

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I have been consciously trying to put only good things into my body for the past 2 weeks, and I think I’ve done a good job. I ate lunch out again (see bottom left) at a new vegetarian restaurant in town, but chose a grilled cheese with garlic & swiss chard and a side of beans. Protein! Fiber! It could have been worse 😉

There may have been a couple of orders of fries in there (and more than a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella…), but hey, I’m not super woman! Nor do I claim to be. I feel much stronger and healthier knowing that I’m not restricting myself. Plus, lately I’ve been rationalizing any extra food I consume during the day as HALF MARATHON FUEL.

As much as it pains me to not celebrate St Patrick’s day this weekend (my Irish grandma would be ashamed), especially with Tyler coming to town to visit and run the race…Abstention (or at least moderation) is the name of the game today and tomorrow.

I did indulge in some drinks last night after dodgeball because it was the last night of the season and I’m taking next season off- but I am so glad I did, because I had a great time with my friends as always! And I was home in bed before midnight 🙂

Plus, how could you say no to hanging out at the bar with that adorable minion face?!

race day

We are in Wave #2 starting at 8am on Sunday. Not too early, which is nice! The high temp for the day is going to be 80 degrees (yippee!) but I’m anticipating it will be high 40’s-low 50’s when we run. Regardless, I’m probably going to run in shorts and a tank top because sista gets sweaty!

I think the race is going to be extremely fun, with 13 live bands playing all over the course. So much for that running playlist I made, right? The reason I signed up for a half was in large part due to how much fun I had doing the Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving- it was an extremely popular race with tons of onlookers, participants, people cheering, live music, mimosa stations… I’m expecting this race to be a lot like that 10K. There are 4 waves worth of runners, so it’s going to be a packed course!

Here are some things I’m going to try and remember for race day:

  • Don’t start too fast– this was a problem for me in my 1st 10K because I wanted to pass everyone up
  • Use the aid stations– I’ll also have some PROBAR energy chews, but dehydration is no joke
  • Focus on finishing, not the time– Though my goal is 2:00:00, I know that the real accomplishment is just finishing. I’m also going to have to try not to push myself too hard to race the boys I’m running with, haha.

Since I didn’t customize my bib, I’m also planning on writing things on my body…Possibly some kind of mantra on my hand, maybe my name on my arm/shoulder. We’ll see how I feel on race morning 🙂

Wish me luck!!!

For those in Sacramento wanting to watch the race, there’s a great page on the Shamrock’n website listing all the best places to spectate. Hope to see you there!

Any last minute advice?

Do you have any good (succinct) workout/running mantras that inspire you?

Weekend in Photos

Happy Monday! First of all, thank you all so much for your nice words on my last post. It was really encouraging to hear that other people have gone through the same struggle with seeing gains on the scale, especially while training for half marathons.

On to my weekend!

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It got off to a pretty amazing start, if I do say so myself: I stopped at Groce Out on the way home and got some wine cheese and crackers (my usual Friday night routine…I’m so predictable) and vegged out all night watching House of Cards Season 2 eps 5-8. So so so good!

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Saturday morning, I was up and out the door before 9am for my first long run in a couple of weeks (No long run last week since I was in NYC, but Joanna and I did fit in a 6 mile run one day which is better than nothing!)… It ended up being a beautiful 70 degree day! I ran 11 miles again and was SHOCKED that I ended up averaging 9:09/mi, which is my goal for my half marathon pace!

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Something happened and I totally just kicked it into gear for my last 4 miles or so. I think that might have been the point where I ditched my shirt! Haha EVERY week I’ve run more than 10 miles, I’ve taken my shirt off. Sista starts to sweat! And 8:28 for the last mile?! WTF?!

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Since I woke up so early, I actually had time to make it to the Farmer’s Market for the first time in weeks. I splurged and bought myself some daffodils and a chai latte because I was feeling so happy about my run. Treat yo self!

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After 4 more episodes of House of Cards (that’s 8 total for the weekend now, for those of you keeping track) I headed out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Good times had by all as always!

photo 5The next morning I woke up and went to Davis to hang with Roger, and more importantly his pug Pierre, my favorite little gremlin 🙂 Look at those ugly teeth! It was another beautiful day and a perfect one for a nice long walk with the pups!

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After one last episode of House of Cards (the finale! AAHHHH) and a few other various tv shows, I headed over to dodgeball where I actually got a great workout in..and looked real cool wearing my new tube socks 🙂 We played a bit of water pong at the bar and then I came home to slow down, send my BFF a weekend update email, and mentally prepare for the week.

Another good one in the books!

Do you watch House of Cards? What do you think of Season 2? I liked it a lot more than Season 1!

How was your weather this weekend? We seriously lucked out!

Confession Time: Why the Scale Sucks

Today I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons and her Thinking out Loud link-up!

Rather than simply thinking out loud like the topic suggests, I am taking a page out of my dear friend Becky’s book and using the link-up as an opportunity to reveal a confession or two.

My confession: I am insecure about my weight.

When I started running in January 2011 (just 1.8 miles 2-3 times per week, mind you!), I was unknowingly embarking on a ~1 year long weight loss journey. That increase in cardio activity, paired with calorie counting/nutrient tracking, was definitely the key to my weight loss success.

I reached my ideal weight a little over a year ago. When I say ideal, I mean it was the weight I was at when I realized I had lost 2 pants sizes and was truly happy with how I looked (and more importantly, how I felt!). Starting at 136 pounds and a size 8, I plateaued at about 119 pounds and a size 4 sometime in 2012 and stayed there for most of 2013. I was coo with that, and I feel like it’s a pretty good size and weight for my body type. (P.S. Here’s my before and after pics just for funsies!)

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at the color run in august 2013 looking quite svelte!

Since so much of my weight loss success was tied in with my running, when I decided to run a half marathon a few months ago, I figured, if anything, I’d lose some more weight.

WRONG!

Over the past 3 months, I’ve gained about 8 pounds. For those of you keeping track at home, that would mean that I have gained back half of what I lost after college. At first, this felt like a huge setback. Some part of me (brainwashed by society, no doubt) kinda liked the fact that I was under 120 pounds. Anything with a ‘teen’ in it sounds skinny, right?

But the reason I decided to run a half marathon was not to lose weight. Upon further reflection, the main reason I signed up to run the half was to feel strong. The question I’ve found myself asking myself is: What makes me feel stronger: a number on the scale, or being able to run 11 miles without stopping?

after my sub 60 min 10k!

after my first sub 60 min 10k!

Um, NO BRAINER people. I feel like a bad ass any time I run for over an hour. Every hill I climb, every curb I hop over, and every mad dash to the end of my run…makes me feel amazing.

One of the most recent times I was able to weigh myself, I looked in the mirror first. Was I happy with what I saw?

fun story: i took this picture last thursday, then took a picture of the picture on saturday to send to my BFF and pretend i wasn't on a plane coming to see her!

fun story: i took this picture last thursday, then took a pic of the pic on saturday to send to my BFF on snapchat to pretend i wasn’t on a plane coming to see her! #SNAPCEPTION

The answer was still yes. Since I don’t have a gym anymore, I do a lot of ab work. My legs are freakin’ tight and lean from all that climbing, hopping, and mad dashing. I proceeded to step onto the scale, see that I was still 8 pounds heavier than “normal”, and….did not really care.

The problem with relying on the scale to track my progress is that as my mileage increases, so does my muscle mass. Most of my weight gain is muscle. The only clothes that fit differently are my jeans around my thighs — which are HUGE and hard as rocks now, by the way.

What really put everything into perspective was the realization that even though I am only about 8 pounds away from my 2010 weight, I am still 2 sizes smaller. Basically, all of my weight is compacted into a smaller package than before, even though I weigh more now than I did 4 months ago.

There are other added benefits to building muscle that outweigh any disadvantages (pun intended). According to a recent issue of Women’s Health, one of the biggest misconceptions about women and building muscle is that if you stop weight training, it turns into fat. The fact is, muscle tissue and fat tissue are two completely different kinds of tissue: muscle by nature requires more energy to metabolize, meaning the higher ratio of muscle-fat your body contains, the more energy (calories!) it will have to expend to keep things running.  Sounds like a good thing, right?

This is a big reason why, though I still track my food pretty often throughout the week, my focus is less on calorie counting to lose weight and more on replacing all of the calories I lose on my workout days with calories from healthy protein sources. I am trying to teach my body to run 13 miles at once…the least I could do is properly fuel it!

So that’s my confession: I am not always happy with the number I see on the scale. But I am happy with what my body is capable of, and I feel so great physically most of the time that it is hard to let a big little number keep me down. 😉

How do you track your fitness progress?

Have you ever experienced muscle weight gain?

Fitness Friday — Half Marathon Training Update #3!

Haaaaappy Friday! Here I am with what may be one of my final half marathon training updates! Only 4 weeks left till my race, and I am feeling extremely confident and excited!

To see why I chose to sign up for a half marathon, click here… and also be sure to check out training updates #1 and #2!

Before I get to my update…I was really touched to have several friends tell me this week that my blog/running chronicles inspired them to start the Couch-to-5K program. I sometimes feel like my blog only serves as a journal for me and an accountability tool. I post things like my training plan and budget online not because I want to brag about how far I can run, or how little I can spend on groceries, but because it makes me more likely to stick to it.

So when my friends told me they were starting to run, I felt touched that I inspired them, but I also kind of felt like a phony — a lot of the time, I honestly still feel like a beginner myself. I decided to look as far back as I could at my MapMyRun stats. I couldn’t look all the way back at January 2011 when I started… However, I was surprised to see that there wasn’t that much of a difference in my distance and pace between June 2011 and June 2013.

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June 2011 — 21 miles total, max distance 2.5 miles, 9:39 min/mi pace

Screen shot June 2013

June 2013 – 18 miles total, max distance 3.3 miles, 9:30 min/mi pace

This means in my first 2 1/2 years of running, I only increased my distance by about 1.3 miles, and stayed about the same speed. My running progress clearly did not happen overnight right when I started running, and I think it’s important for me to share that.

Fast forward to today — since June, I have increased my furthest distance by almost 8 miles. If you had told me in January 2013 that I would run 2 10Ks before the year was over, I would have never imagined that that was possible. Just goes to show how much I know 😛

ANYWAY, on with the training update!

Funny story- when I went to update my training log, I noticed something that I’m guessing none of you did either… I totally left an entire WEEK out of my training plan!

Check it out – after week 8 it skips from January 26th to February 3rd! Whoops.

Anyway, that’s all corrected now. I decided to cut week 1 out of the spreadsheet and start with the week of December 9th, since that was the week that I actually registered. Check out my progress:

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A couple of things to note: I had a bad head cold weeks 7-8. Running actually seemed to help because it loosened up the phlegm in my throat/chest, but I decided to skip my early wake-up to lift weights on February 1st. It was TOTALLY worth it!

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my mileage (and pace! I was taking it easy yesterday and ended up averaging 9:08/mi… what the what!?) and I’m feeling confident about only training to about 11.5 or 12 miles before the race.

Thoughts After 10 Weeks (or is it 11?):

aches & pains

My knee pain is pretty much 100% gone (!!!). It hurt on my runs this week only because I bruised it up pretty good at dodgeball on Sunday 😉 Note to self: invest in knee pads!

However, fun development- I have a black toenail now. It was really painful for a couple of weeks but now it’s just ugly. I really hope it doesn’t fall off before the race! I have been pretty nervous about it so I embarrassingly went to my friend Chris (who signed up to run the race with me and Tyler! Yay!) and warned him I was about to gross him out, then asked if he had ever had a black toenail. His response: “I have one now!” LOL #runnerproblems

the course

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The entrance to the bike trail, and the hill of death that I’ll have to endure at the end of mile 7

Nothing new here! I have pretty much mastered most of the course. I don’t think there’s any part of it that I haven’t ran (or biked) on. That is an awesome feeling.

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abandoned bike trail on my 11 mile run in the RAIN

One thing I am a little bit concerned about on race day is whether I will be able to keep up with Chris, and whether Tyler will be able to keep up with me! Haha. Chris came with me on a long run last month and we run at a pretty similar pace, but he has already completed 13 miles several times before. Tyler is only up to 9 miles in his training, but he is a fit dude so I have no doubt he’ll be fine! Can’t wait to push and challenge each other during the race…and enjoy a beer together at the end. 🙂

lifestyle changes

I couldn’t believe how much more energy I had for my 11 mile run having gotten a full 8 hours of sleep and not drank the night before. Lately it’s always been one or the other — I either have a few drinks on Friday night, or just don’t end up getting a good nights sleep. But both at the same time? I need to make this happen more often!

I have definitely been cutting down on the weekday drinking (no more wine with dinner, sigh)…it’s just better for me in general, and easier on my budget! I can also confidently say that I am following the 80-20 model of healthy eating- most of my meals are extremely clean and involve Greek yogurt/fruit (breakfast) or beans/quinoa/bread/veggies (lunch and dinner).. Breakfast and lunch are clean every day of the week, and I’d probably say on at least 4 days my dinner is homemade and plant-based as well.

That’s it for now! Have a great weekend, friends!

What is your greatest running (or fitness) achievement?

Fitness Friday: My Running Routine

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a stickler for routine. I’m definitely more of a “go with the flow” type of person, and I love a good surprise. However, in recent months I’ve found myself falling into quite a few rituals, and many of them involve my running and fitness habits.

Because I’m totally voyeuristic in my own blog reading (I love “Photo an Hour” posts like this and this, and I especially love seeing other people’s pantries, like when Emily posted the best.vlog.ever here), I assume that others are as well.

So without further ado, follow me on a journey through how I prepare to run anywhere from 3 to 10 miles… 🙂

First of all, every single run I’ve done since mid-November has been in the morning. When I was unemployed, that meant “whenever I woke up”, so I’d usually run around 9:30 or 10am. Same thing goes for the weekends, except I tend to take my sweet time on Saturday mornings, so sometimes I don’t get out until closer to 11. These days, I wake up at 6:30am on Tuesdays and 6am on Thursdays to run 3.1 and 5.4 miles, respectively.

how i fueled before my first 10k in september!

Until this month, I ate before every run. Always a piece of toast…usually with some kind of nut butter on it. Since I’m now waking up at 6-6:30am to run before work, I have been trying out fasted cardio during the week. I don’t really have an opinion one way or another about fasted cardio…I haven’t noticed much of a difference in my energy levels, weight, muscle mass, etc… MAYBE a little bit of weight loss, since I’m not eating before and after my runs on Tues & Thurs. It’s mostly just a convenience thing for me.

However, I always eat before my long runs on Saturday. I ran 10 miles the last two Saturdays, and I kinda think it would be foolish to not fuel before a run like that!

To avoid cramping, I eat immediately when I wake up and do the rest of my getting ready while the food digests 😉

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I use fitmixer Clean Energy before any run that is 4 miles or longer. I just like that it really is CLEAN energy: raspberry ketones, green tea extract, etc. I never feel groggy before my runs, despite the fact that they’re usually before sunrise. This stuff definitely perks me up, and I credit it for keeping my pace up!

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For the days when I’m running after sunrise, sunscreen is a MUST for me, at the very least on my face! This summer, I also started running with a hat when the weather calls for it. I had my first basal cell skin cancer on my scalp a little over a year ago, and with my family history it’s not likely to be my last so I’m not taking any chances!

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Nowadays I have been running in long sleeved shirts with a hood…AND thumb holes…AND my convertible gloves-to-mittens. Oh and I have about 6 of those headbands in different colors! They keep my ears warm, my ear buds in place, and my hair out of my face!

The funny thing about wearing all of that is I usually shed it throughout my run. I do it as like a reward to myself… “OK Katie, once you get to 2 miles, you can take off your hood…” “Great job! Now at 3 miles you can take off your gloves…” “Alright, now at 4 miles you can roll up your sleeves….”

…Umm, please ignore the fact that running has generally just become an excuse for me to talk to myself for anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes in the morning…

Also, I can’t run without music. I used to have a running playlist, but as my mileage increased, the playlist became too short and I started playing my whole library on shuffle instead 😉 These past couple of weeks I have started off my Tuesday morning 5K with Taylor Swift’s “Mean” because it is a seriously catchy and fast tempo song, and when I listen to it while running I start off at a 9:15/mi pace! I’ve been trying to break my 5K record of 27:07, but I can’t manage to break 27 minutes! Maybe I need to make a “fast running” playlist 🙂

Do we share any of the same running habits?

Do you eat before running? Any thoughts on fasted cardio?

Weekend in Photos

A little late, but happy Monday! Today was rough. As you’ll see, I had an action packed weekend so it was tough going back to work today! Worth it? Totally.

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Friday night started like most of my Fridays do- with WINE! I definitely felt like I deserved it, I stayed late at work finishing up a project. 2 weeks in and I’m already putting in overtime! I had to buy this wine I found at Grocery Outlet because I loved the label. After a glass or 2, I met up with friends at LowBrau and watched the Kings lose in OT… boooo! I headed home early to rest up for my run and watched old episodes of 30 Rock. The best.

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My run on Saturday morning was EPIC. I am a bit ahead of my training plan – I was only slated to run 9.75 miles, but I decided on Friday that I would go for it and push for 10 miles. It was super nice outside and I actually had to ditch my shirt at the end of mile 6! That’s probably why my mile 7 split was so fast 😉

Overall, it was a really good run, but it was HARD. My legs felt heavy and stiff from the very beginning. But I did it and that’s all that matters! I am happy with my pace (My goal for the half is to average 9:10/mile) and I didn’t have knee OR hip pain this weekend. Great success! I think I will run the same course next weekend instead of increasing my mileage.

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Next, it was time to replace all those calories! Yvette treated me to lady brunch at Limelight. I just got a simple breakfast with eggs, toast, 4 pieces of bacon (yesss so much bacon) and potatoes. And of course tea and mimosas!

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We kept the fun going and went to Der Biergarten since it was a gorgeous 75 degree January day (wtf)… Biergarten just opened on Friday so we wanted to check out all the hype! It was super fun, I can’t wait to sit out on that patio in the summer months! That evening I rallied and made it out for a friend’s house party. It was seriously a marathon of a day. I logged 25,000 steps throughout the course of the day!

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Yesterday, I did some grocery shopping (all that healthy goodness for $20! Score!) before hopping on my bike and heading to the dodgeball bar. Unfortunately, I got stopped by a cop on my way there and he gave me a ticket for rolling through a stop sign! 😦 I seriously always follow traffic signs… I’ve even ranted about bicyclists not following the rules on this blog! Go figure that the one time I don’t stop at a stop sign (there was NO ONE around) I get in trouble for it. I don’t know how much the ticket will cost yet, but I’m expecting it to be hefty… And I’ve also read that it might count as a point on my driver’s license 😦

Oh, and that’s Greg carrying Yvette’s purse for her on our way to dodgeball. Bahahaha!

Overall I had a great weekend. However, I definitely had the Monday blues today – it was so hard to focus at work, and I just generally felt sluggish. PLUS I am getting over a head cold…double whammy! I was probably a joy to work with today, sniffling and coughing and hacking all day long 😉

Have a great week!

75 degrees in January… love it or hate it?

If you’re a cyclist, do you follow traffic signs?

Weekend in Photos

Happy MLK Day! And for those who don’t get a holiday today… Happy Monday 😛

Does anyone else feel like January is flying by? I keep on looking at the calendar and expecting it to only be like January 8th. Crazy!

Well even though my weekend is technically still chuggin’ along, here’s what I was up to the past few days:

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I finished up the workweek working on a project in our conference room that had a sweet view during a sweet sunset. The end of week 1 at work called for some wine (because duh, I am me) and an awesome dinner salad. Black beans, corn, avocado, and jalapeno stuffed olives with a cumin vinaigrette… YUM!

That evening I went out to the bars (for the first time in a while!) for a going away party to wish my friend Sara farewell as she moves to Washington DC this week for an awesome job. Sad to see her go, but excited that she got the opportunity! I stuck around for a couple of drinks but made sure to head home by 11 since I had 9 miles planned in the morning.

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And run I did! I decided I wanted to stick with an increase of at least .5 miles per week. Since we ran 8.7 last week, I went 9.3 this week…just to be sure 😉 I switched it up and instead of doing out-and-backs on the last half of the half marathon course, I pretty much just ran the first 9 miles of the race. I was really impressed with my pace this week, since I’m aiming for a 9:10 min mile pace for my half.

I was definitely feelin it afterward though, and pretty much plopped myself on the floor to ice and stretch through several episodes of The Office 🙂

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In a welcome change of pace from the norm, we went to see a Sacred City Derby Girls bout on Saturday night! I had never been to a roller derby before, and Chris had never been to one in Sacramento. It was awesome. Stereotypically enough, I loved the ridiculous outfits, and Chris loved seeing the girls crash and fall. Hahaha, OKAY, I loved that too.

The rest of the evening was quiet for me, since I was still recovering from the long run- perfect conditions for a glass of wine + Netflix night!

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Sunday also started off quiet, with an early morning cup o’ tea and some calming music on my balcony… But the rest of the day was anything but! As you probably know, the 49ers fell to the Seahawks in their quest for the Super Bowl 😦 CHOKED is more like it. Gahhh. After watching the game at our friend Danny’s place, Yvette and I booked it over to dodgeball on our bikes, where we kicked butt 8-1!

Since most of us didn’t have work today, we got to stay out and enjoy each other’s company at the bar afterward. Yvette and I sucked at water pong as per usual, and she trolled. Once I switched partners, I redeemed myself by winning 3 games in a row! Success!

Not much going on today…I will probably catch up on this weekend’s SNL and do some food prep for the week. Such an exciting life I lead 😀 Have a great week!

Have you ever been to a roller derby?

Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Fitness Friday — Half Marathon Training Update #2

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

First of all, thank you for all your sweet comments on Tuesday! My first few days at work have been great. There hasn’t been lots of substantial work for me to do yet, but I absolutely love being in a young, energetic office whose work I find extremely interesting and exciting! I’ve basically been spending my days reading news headlines about our clients’ areas of interest, which is totally up my alley. #newsjunkie for life over here!

It’s also been good to get back into a routine, which includes a “regular” sleep schedule and eating better (read: 3 real meals, and not snacks all.day.long). Well that is, besides last night…

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My after work dinner consisted of an entire basket of French fries (“I’m not even angry, that is impressive!”) and a few Jameson & Gingers at the dodgeball bar… I think I deserved it after almost 4 days of good, healthy eats! 80-20 people, 80-20… Ya can’t be perfect all the time!

Anyway, without further ado, here is my update on my Half Marathon training!

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My last update was 3 weeks ago, when I was nearing the end of week 4 of my training. I’m chugging right along at week 7 right now and have made awesome progress!

The Hal Higdon training plan I used to model my plan after suggests that you do 5K and 10K races at some point during your training. I was originally hoping to run the Hot Chocolate 5K in San Francisco last weekend, but I have pretty much decided that 2 more races (and all the $$$ fees associated) are probably not going to be possible with the tight budget I have allowed myself for the next 6 months.

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So you’ll see there were a few lapses in my training – that I’m TOTALLY okay with. When we were in Oregon, we stayed super active (I logged 12,000+ steps for 3 days in a row!) but I only made it out for one short, slow 2 mile run on New Years Eve day. I didn’t actually do the Hot Chocolate 5K like I said, but I still made progress and ran 8.7 miles with Chris that weekend instead. I’m on the lookout for a new course for us to run tomorrow and the goal will be 9 miles!

Thoughts After 7 Weeks:

aches & pains

Since my last update about experiencing knee pain, virtually ALL of that knee pain has disappeared. I attribute this to 1) getting used to my new shoes and inserts, 2) stretching well, and 3) running on a hilly course that isn’t 100% pavement. The only time I feel pain is usually during the week when I’m doing my shorter runs on the sidewalk.

Wearing heels to work probably doesn’t help the goal of avoiding aches and pains! Beauty is pain Running 16 miles a week is pain.

I also tweaked my ankle last night when I was carrying my bike up my stairs in heeled boots…And I totally brought my ice pack to work today when I woke up and it still hurt. Is it too soon to ice my ankle in front of my new coworkers? #noshame

the course

I’m still running on the grid during the week for my 3-5 mile runs and on the bike trail for my long runs. I have run on the half marathon course every week since my last update, and like I said I have been happy with my results. 7+ miles go by faster when you have a nice view and aren’t just running the same loop over and over! I’ve been training on the back end of the course, and am thinking about switching to the front end this weekend.

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the Half Marathon course!

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the course we ran last weekend!

I’m starting to wonder with these long runs if I should be hydrating or bringing some kind of fuel. Any insight? A couple of weeks ago, I brought some energy chews to get in the habit of eating while I run & see if it agreed with me…it went fine, but I didn’t feel too much of a difference energy wise during or after the run.

lifestyle changes

I have definitely been a lot better in recent weeks about alcohol consumption, especially on Friday nights before my long runs, as well as Saturday afterwards. I wouldn’t say I’m drinking less frequently (I am definitely a glass-of-wine-at-day’s-end kinda girl), but the amount I’m drinking when I do drink has gone down. Mission accomplished! My budgetary restrictions are helping on that front too 😉

This week, I had a pretty drastic change in routine when I started work. I woke up at 6:30am on Wednesday to do a light workout before work! This is crazy talk for me, because I am NOTORIOUS for sleeping late, and sleeping for a longgggg time. Needless to say, I was in bed by 10 and asleep by 10:30 on Wednesday night…just to wake up at 6am yesterday morning to fit in my 5 mile run. Strangely enough, I really like this new routine and I hope I can stick with it. I feel more productive and successful than I have in years! It’s also easier to find the motivation to work out when you’re fresh and awake in the morning, rather than after a long day at work.

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my first sunrise in… who knows how long!

That’s it for now! Hope you all have a great weekend (especially if you get Monday off for MLK Jr. Day!)

Do you fuel or hydrate during long runs? Any tips or advice?

When do you work out: during the morning, at noon, or at night?

Weekend in Photos

Hello and happy Monday! My last weekend of “funemployment” is in the books, and it’s back to work for me on Wednesday!

I’m excited to start a new chapter in my professional life. On my birthday this year, I reflected on what I called my quarter life crisis, and about how I’ve decided to start putting myself first and cultivating my own happiness. I didn’t know then that I would be losing my job just a month later. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I saw it as a blessing in disguise, and an opportunity to finally shift my career focus to what I have always wanted to do. Compound this with the fact that I’m running further and faster than ever, and have a great group of friends (& blends!)…I am just one happy panda right now!

Alright, enough of that mushy stuff. Here’s what I did this weekend:

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I had a few dollars left in my grocery budget (and a coupon for Ménage à Trois that was about to expire!) so I did some grocery shopping on Friday night. Yes, I am that cool. I redeemed myself by heading over to my trusty Alley Katz (closest bar to my apt) to watch the Kings beat the Magic, drink some strong ass IPA’s and play pool. #SuccessfulFridayNightAfterAll

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Not too many IPAs, though, because we had a long run to conquer in the morning! I was really excited that my friend Chris agreed to join me for my long run this week. He was a trooper and said he’d go as far as I wanted – I was aiming for 8.5, and we ended up going 8.7! It was a welcome change to have a running partner, and definitely made it feel like it went by faster. Plus he picked up my pace at the end- check out our splits for those last couple of miles!

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After a Farmer’s Market trip and some sober NFL playoff watching, I roasted up a bunch of veggies for dinner and cozied up for a night in with a classic movie- The Princess Bride! #inconceivable!

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Then it was up bright and early Sunday morning for some brunch and football! We hadn’t had a bottomless mimosa brunch since well before Christmas, so we were long overdue. Kupros definitely didn’t disappoint- look at those glasses! And the Niners won! Pretending to care about football is fun when the local team is kicking ass and champagne is involved 😉

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I came home to another dead goldfish… oops. #anotheronebitesthedust

Then it was off to game 1 of our new Sunday dodgeball season! And anyone who knows me knows it’s not a complete dodgeball outfit without funky socks 😉

That’s all for now, folks! Hope you all have a great week 🙂

Do you prefer to run alone or with a partner?

What’s your favorite weekend night in routine?