Apr 13, 2014

Decisions..Decisions..Decisions....

I feel like things are finally starting to move in the right direction for me as far as running but it has been a very slow process. My mileage is still really low because I am trying to slowly ease back into things. My longest run since the LA Marathon happened today and I ran a total of 17 miles for the week. 
I lost four weeks of training for my next marathon due to the pain I was having in my hip. My next race is the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon on May 25th which is supposed to be a really important race for me. I was going to make my first attempt at a BQ but with the training that I have lost I am not feeling very optimistic about my goal. I have spent this past week thinking about how I should approach this race. Last year I ran my best marathon time on this course and I want to remember this course in a positive light.
I have kind of broken in down into a few choices.

1) Run the marathon even if I have to give up my goal of a BQ attempt. I mean I really want to run this race because I love the course but running a marathon just to do it is kinda hard on your body and I am not sure if I want to do that right now considering that I am not 100%. I also have the expense of a hotel and travel and I would rather not spend that money on a race that I am just running for the heck of it. This whole running thing can get expensive!

2) Transfer my bib and not run the marathon. This is the decision that I am leaning towards if you asked me for an answer today. I have other races lined up this year and I am thinking that it may be smarter to give my body the time it needs to get back into things and then realign my goals for a future marathon.

3) Downgrading to the half marathon is no longer an option since it is now sold out.

I have a lot of thinking to do in the next few weeks since my deadline to transfer my bib is May 15th. I am going to see how my long runs go for the next two weeks (13 and 15 miles) and then make a decision. I really need to make the smartest decision because I don't want to push myself into a injury that is going to sideline me for a few months. I feel that I am lucky given that this race allows for me to transfer my bib for just $15.00.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you handle it?

Apr 8, 2014

4/4-4/5/14: Ragnar So Cal Relay (Runner's High)




This was my third Ragnar Relay. I ran both Ragnar So Cal and Ragnar Las Vegas last year and loved every moment of it.  We had five new runners of our team this year and everyone was a lot of fun. I was in Van 2 again this year and my total mileage was 12 and some change. I like to keep the mileage low because when I don't sleep since I don't enjoy running all that much when I am dead tired. I also told my team that I will be backup for anyone who gets injured or cannot run their leg for any reason. I am also glad that I didn't go for much more than I did because of the issues that I have been having with my hip. I knew that I was going to have to take it easy which is hard.

The same company, TRL Systems, that sponsored our team last year was nice enough to do it again this year. They paid for our vans and the gas which is the largest expense for a team unless you use your personal vehicles. We did have a huge scare with our two 15-passenger vans the day before the event. Enterprise called our captain and told him that due to the Chevy recall that is going on, they were not able to rent the vans to us. After explaining our situation to them, they found two SUV's for us and that is what we used this year.
 
We also had some great volunteers who also volunteered for our team last year. They are so nice to do this for us. One of the girls on our team (pictured below in the middle) finds all of our volunteers and drivers. She is awesome and saves us a lot of headaches, time and money since we would have to pay if we did not find volunteers.
Our driver was awesome as well. He drove Van 1 last year and this year he drove us in Van 2. He told us that it was a whole new experience driving Van 2. I guess we were a little too crazy for him. He slept whenever he could but I know the poor man was tired.
My team had a start time of 6:45 am but we ended up starting at 7:00 am since we were busy taking team photos and missed our start time. Ooops! Not a big deal because we do not run this event for time but simply for fun. This year we ran for a more important purpose. We ran in honor of my running buddy's husband who was the driver of Van 2 last year.  He took his own life last September and he is the one who started "Runner's High" so our team ran in his honor by wearing these bibs.
The weather was so much cooler this year which was a real blessing. It was in the 60-75 range which was really nice. It was so hot last year which made it pretty tough. So here is a quick summary of the three legs that I ran. 

Leg 9: 5.3 Miles (3:23 pm): Average Pace 8:02
My first leg was the longest but the easiest. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure what to expect with my hip but it was actually pain free and I did push it a little just to see if I could run faster than a 9:00 pace which is the pace that I committed to. I really enjoyed this leg because I haven't ran an 8:XX pace in a few weeks. I think I got 16 kills on this run too!
 
Leg 21: 3.25 Miles (2:28 am): Average Pace 9:07
This leg was tough! I had not slept at all and I was running on empty. My dinner did not sit well and I was just not feeling it! I just told myself to take it easy and try to stay at a 9:00 pace if possible and forgot about the kills. I didn't want to run alone in the dark so I pretty much stayed with another girl who was out running. We came to a signal and when the it was our turn to go she looked at me and said "Happy Trails. See you at the Finish" and took off. I wasn't sure why she said that to me. It started to sprinkle and it felt really good to run in the cool weather. I eventually caught up to "Happy Trails" and ended up passing her and she was kill #10. I think she gave me the motivation I needed to get to the exchange.
Leg 33: 3.52 Miles (11:49 am): Average Pace 8:31
My last leg was probably the most enjoyable! Most of it was on a beach path and the ocean view and breeze was amazing. I had slept for about an hour at this point so I was still lagging but wanted to finish this last leg at a decent pace because I was about to be done. My goal was an 8:30-8:35 pace and I was able to accomplish that even though I was exhausted!
We had a lot of fun in Van 2 and from what I hear, Van 1 was very quiet. They called themselves the "Library Van." Our van was non-stop and we had a lot of fun. We provided leg support to our runners whenever possible and we also handed out bottles of water and snacks to the other runners out there. That was pretty fun and the runners really appreciated it.
We ran to the finish line as a team which was really fun. We finished in 33 hours 2 minutes and 47 seconds to be exact and placed 304th out of 510 teams in the Regular Mixed Open Division.

Mar 30, 2014

And I Ran...

Running has not been my favorite subject to talk about lately. It is a great topic when you are able to run and everything is going as planned but as you know, that has not been the case for me. The past few weeks have been tough since I have pretty much kissed my goal race goodbye. I have lost three weeks of training and my confidence level is pretty low at this point. I really have to think about how I am going to approach this race. I want to make the smartest choice so I need some time to digest all of this.

On a positive note, I ran this week. It was only a few miles, but I ran. This is better than nothing and the miles were pain free. 
The hip pain seems to be gone and I hope that it does not return. I have been doing all of the things that you great people have recommended to me. I have been icing, foam rolling and doing lots of different stretches which have helped a lot. 
Ragnar Relay is this coming Friday and I really want to run it. I don't have a lot of miles so I think if I keep the pace super easy then I might be okay. I have 12 miles to run and I think I can handle that. Thankfully we run this race for fun and we will be wearing tutus because #tutusrock! 

Who else is running Ragnar So Cal?
It looks like the weather is going to be great this year! Last year it was so hot so I am looking forward to the cooler weather!