My Full-Fat Life

By: Emma

The taper: what I’ve tapered off and what I kept doing

Before last week, I had never tapered before. I didn’t really know what to do, but I read a lot online. I started running less to give my legs time to recover since I’m running a half next weekend. It’s been a combination of restful and boring; I am much happier when I’m running.

Observations

I’m not ravenous. I’m not going from hungry to shark-mode instantly. Usually I can eat anything and everything in sight after a run.

Rested. I don’t feel tired. I never really get that tired, but not running takes a whole level of fatigue away. I’m not sore and I’ve welcomed a sense of lazy. I have never been lazy; I’m always on the go, always doing something.

My FitBit steps have always varied from 10k-20k steps. Lately I’ve been getting around 7k, and it’s okay. I find myself wearing my FitBit way less too. When I have already made up my mind to be sedentary, I see no reason recording how little I’m moving.

Although I’m getting more rest than I’ve gotten in years, not running is boring. I miss being physically spent, but I know I’ll feel plenty spent next weekend sitting in the hot tub of the hotel.

How am I filling the time:

Trying new recipes. I combined a couple meatball recipes last weekend, and made spice/cream cheese cupcakes. YUM. And I have banana bread in the oven right now. 🙂

Being horizontal on the couch. I have more time for Netflix, movies, documentaries, and following the election! Although reading up on these two winners we have to choose from isn’t much to celebrate.

Reading. I’m reading an awesome book right now The Perfect Horse!!! I walked in my local bookstore with the intention of buying Girl on the Train, but they didn’t have it and this caught my eye. If you love horses and/or history, you must read it. The Spanish Riding school of Vienna is stunning. I would love to visit in my lifetime.

A note on books: I still only read real books. I’m not going digital anytime soon! I did major in English, and I love having books around my home.

What I haven’t tapered off of:

Planks (1-3 for 1 min each). Planks are my good friend, and I cannot get away from them. Even if I take the day off, I still do planks. They have helped me the most with my running. I never understood before how much core work helps your form, but it’s key.

Squats with a kettle bell (sets of 10-15). Other free weight exercises. Walking lunges, bicep curls, roman twists.

Stretching. My hips are still painfully tight even without running!! UGH! I am ready for some new hips. I do pigeon pose at least twice a day. My lack of flexibility is an issue, but I’m doing my best to correct it.

Over the last couple months I got back into yoga. I have been going about twice a week, to gentle and vinyasa. Gentle is my favorite but vinyasa gives me a quieter mind. I love fast-paced yoga class because I leave feeling zen. Zen is something to get excited about. It keeps me too busy to think, so I really enjoy that feeling of peace.

One of my yoga teachers asked how things are going now that I’m getting back into yoga. I told her I feel as stiff as 2x4s. I really do, especially in warrior poses. After the half, I plan to be in yoga as much as I can as I return to running. I anticipate a bit of a break after the half.

Questions for you

  • What do you do when you taper?
  • How do you prevent yourself from staying in a lazy state forever?
  • Do you still read paper books?

Chicken pot pie

Who doesn’t love comfort food? I have been looking forward to cooler days all year. With the hot, hot, hot summer, no breeze in the town I live, and a rough year of California fires, I have been looking forward to being inside with hot food since spring.

Last week my sister and I got pot pies in a pinch at Whole Foods. They had the best flaky crust. It must have had shortening or butter, or both.

I haven’t made my pot pies in 2.5 years, since my grandma was in the hospital for a Whipple surgery. She survived pancreatic cancer, by the grace of God, and is cancer-free. She’s off in Minnesota right now visiting her family.

I made one of these pot pies for my grandpa while he was home alone.

About 3 years ago, I made pot pie for the first and modified the recipe from the start.

When I make pot pie, I go off Ina’s recipe. I make her sauce, and start the meal the same, but I make several modifications:

  1. I buy a roasted chicken at Safeway.
  2. I add more veggies.. broccoli specifically.
  3. I do not make my own crust. I buy puff pastry.

A roasted chicken might be a few more bucks, but it’s so much easier. The flavor is better too, with the juices of all the other chickens falling onto the others. They are browned to perfection. It just makes sense. Back in the day when I used to cook almost every night, I used to buy roasted chickens for many different meals. You can pull the meat off and make tacos easily. They are also a great buy if you are cooking something else that takes awhile, like brussel sprout salad. I will include that recipe soon! It’s a complete warm salad with bacon and hard boiled eggs.

Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies, and when I read Ina’s recicpe it seemed to lack some green. So I add about 3 cups of broccoli florets, chopped up.

Lastly, I buy puff pastry because it’s easy, and good lord it tastes good. Nobody will complain if you serve puff pastry. Trust me. I have made homemade chocolate croissants before, so I know how to make dough. But come on, we know it takes awhile. Puff pastry is fool proof.

With all these cheat steps, it makes this meal much quicker to prepare! It says total on Ina’s recipe it will take 1 hour, 55 mins total to prepare. I shave about a half an hour off that time.

I will give you a run through on the steps I go through to make this meal.

  1. Heat butter in a pan and add 2 cups of chopped onions. Add salt to sweat the onions.
  2. Heat 5 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan, and add 2 chicken bouillon cubes.
  3. Cut the white meat off the chicken, chop the carrots and broccoli. Add all of it to one bowl.
  4. After the onions have cooked for 15 mins, add flour. Let the raw flour cook for a minute or two. At this point I added another T. of butter.
  5. Then add all of the chicken broth and let it thicken. Stir it up a bit and combine;.
  6. Add 1/4 cup half and half, and add salt and pepper. Ina’s recipe calls for heavy cream but I bought half and half. Just because then I can use the rest of the jar. You can add it to coffee and such. If I buy heavy cream I won’t use it and the rest of the bottle will go to waste.
  7. Stir cream and everything. Then you grab the bowl with all other contents–chicken and veggies–and add them to pot of everything. Add frozen peas.
  8. Add this whole thing to the pot you plan to cook it in. I like using my round souffle pot, but I have also used 9×13 ceramics. I just think the round pot is pretty nice.
  9. Roll out your puff pastry and put it on top.
  10. Make sure you cut some holes with a fork so the steam can escape. I didn’t do this the first time I made this, but I learned my lesson.

Also, I learned another lesson tonight! If the pot is very, very full with pot pie filling, remove a bit of it. Tonight mine spilled out of the pot and got my oven pretty dirty. Well, I will clean that.. later. Tomorrow or something.

pot-pie

I never used to be a proponent of semi-homemade, but it works if you are busy. Also, sometimes semi-homemade is better. For example, almost all the time now I use cake mixes, but make homemade frosting. If chefs like Giada are using cake mixes, why would we normal folk make our own cakes? Cake mixes are far more moist. Chefs and scientists perfect the recipes perfectly, so we don’t have to.

This meal is so filling and good. I just grab some filling and grab a piece of the puff pastry.

pot-pie-serving

Questions for you

  • Do you ever make pot pie?
  • Which recipes do you use?

Review of Saucony Ride 9

For awhile now I had felt like I was still searching for “the one.” I absolutely love the Brooks Pure Flow 4s, but the 5s were too narrow for my feet. I love the close connection to the ground and know that my gait is more natural in them. But on the other hand, they don’t have much support for long runs.

Several runners I know recommend them for shorter runs, such as 5ks. I never ran farther than 5 miles in my Pure Flows. They don’t have a ton of cushion, but I feel very comfortable in them. When I needed a pair a couple of months ago, 4s were hard to find, but I found a pair at Nordstrom rack. The cushion did NOT feel the same as my other pairs.

I began running in my Nike Pegasus again, which I do believe are good shoes. They feel very responsive and supportive, and are great for long runs. I like that they aren’t too soft; they don’t feel like pillows. But, I do feel like they influence my gait because they I feel like I have high heels on. After running in Pure Flows, going from a 4mm to 12 mm offset is pretty significant.

embridge

I went to my local running shop and began trying on a lot of different shoes. I tried the Hoka Cliftons and really liked them. The drop is also 4mm and they were very comfortable and surprisingly light. I don’t know if I would give them an award for being beautiful, an award I can effortlessly give Nikes. The were a little too narrow. I never thought I had wide feet but it seems like I do. Or else my feet just swell. It could be either. I didn’t want to get Hokas until after the half just because they felt so different–mentally–to me.

Next I tried New Balance Vazee. I was interested in this shoe because the offset was 6mm. I really wanted to love this shoe. They are stylish with a mild offset. However, the cushion was not what I was expecting. These shoes felt pretty stiff. My arches are very, very high and my foot instantly pronated and my ankles rolled in while wearing the shoes. I knew I couldn’t run in them, and would need to add different insoles just to walk in them.

ride

Lastly, I found a winner in the Saucony 9. I had done some research and learned that the offset is 8 mm. I hadn’t tried a Saucony ever before but know that they are well-liked in the running community.  These shoes are very cushy, but not quite as cushy as Hokas. The medium offset still has me running naturally, and the arch is perfect. I have tried shoes with more arch support before, but they didn’t work for me. I don’t want to feel like my arch is being pushed up, but I don’t like inches of daylight under it either.

This shoe hugs my foot perfectly, with the softest, most forgiving material. The area behind the wraps the achilles tendon is baby-soft. The whole shoe feels soft, yet sturdy.

I have ran on a paved trail, and on the dirt alongside. The shoes have good traction. Even with all the padding, I still feel a good connection to the ground. Landing on the ball of my foot is still doable without many mental reminders. I feel like this is the perfect compromise between feeling every step in a lightly-padded shoe and running with high heels (12 mm drop).

The only con is that the shoe feels slightly narrow on my big toe. But I believe this is just a personal issue though because I have horrible big toe calluses. Really, not a pretty sight. But if I get rid of them I get blisters, so I just let them be. I might need a wide next time.

I’m enjoying the Saucony Rides so much, I am doing all my runs in these shoes now.

Questions for you

Have you ever tried Saucony?

What are your favorite running shoes?

Mid-run fueling and my experience with gels

My friend’s sister ran the San Diego RNR marathon with a 7:30 pace, without any high-tech fuel, eating only oranges!! But I have heard from so many runners that gels can help.

gu

When I ran my Radical 80s 5k, the goody bag came with a berry gu. I sure as hell wasn’t going to need it to run only 3 miles, and I had made pancakes for breakfast, so I hung onto it for awhile. A friend told my at the 5k to take a gu before the start of the half marathon. I have also heard from someone else to take it at the 6 mile mark.

3 years ago I almost choked on gu lozenges while walking/running a trail 10k. I ate a couple while running and instantly swallowed them. Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing! It’s amazing what you remember doing back then. I felt like I had instantly swallowed a cough drop and it was in my throat. I was hoping I wouldn’t choke, and it was kind of scary because I was all alone. It turns out trail runners are super elite athletes. They are a very different crowd than a local fun run I was expecting!

I remember wearing a long-sleeved shirt over my tank top for the start of the race. I know now that I overheat within a minute or 2. I know better now.

I thought I would need gu to run 6 miles back then. LOL.

During my half, I plan to stop and take a quick break to take a gu with some water. I have been running and working out a lot, but I know I won’t be running 13 miles without a break. The breaks will be brief but they will happen. I was also thinking of bringing a clif bar. I absolutely love the coconut almond butter filled bars.

I will eat a good breakfast and maybe take a gatorade gel before the race begins, consisting of eggs and toast. I bought Gatorade energy chews one day when I was hoping to buy gu. Safeway doesn’t sell Gu so I figured why not try these.

These are working well for me. So far I am a fan. I haven’t tried them mid-run yet, but I will try them mid-run soon. I’m a pretty big eater. Yesterday I had a big breakfast but I felt like too much time had passed before I went running, so I took 2 gatorade gels. I had plenty of energy to run. Maybe I’ll have a gatorade gel before I start and then have a gu at the half-way point. My plan is to not be hungry or tired, and I would rather start refueling before I feel exhausted.

I first tried gu a few weeks ago just to see if my stomach could handle it. I had a gu after 5 miles and had 5 miles left. I was mostly walking though because it was so hot. The gu didn’t bother my stomach at all, and I went to my local running shop to get more.

I also tried on a pair of Hoka Cliftons. Hokas seem interesting to me because they offer so much cushioning yet have a low offset from heel to toe. I was surprised how narrow they fit, and would need to get a half size up if decide to buy some. I might after the half marathon, but for now I don’t want to change anything.

How do you refuel while running?

Do you stick to gels or eat “real” food?

Why I’m training on a treadmill

I haven’t used a treadmill consistently in  over 11 years. Back in high school I used to run on it and loved it, but once I stopped running after falling off my horse and hurting my knee, I never got back to it. I find it really boring, hot, and unchallenging. I’ve never felt like running on a treadmill can firm up your legs as much as the good old outdoors. The treadmill feels softer than pavement, though.

That’s why I decided to change my ways and use it. I asked my PT about it a few months ago and he told me it won’t create the same metabolic burn. But I’ll tell you why it’s working for me these days.

I live crawling distance to an absolutely beautiful trail. It goes alongside a lake, to a mountain, and to the other nearby town. I think you can run 20 miles on it. But there are a few challenges for me on the trail. Most of it is relatively flat, but there are some down and uphill parts. Uphill doesn’t bother me at all, but I didn’t realize just how much of it was slightly downhill. There is enough downhill to feel like it bothers my knee. I only want to run uphill or on flat ground. I know that when you do a race you can’t pick the terrain, but I just want to build my miles on what feels good. My friend did a half marathon on this hill, and her legs were shredded.

Here are the reasons I decided to switch to running on a treadmill for the remainder of my half training.

Speed & incline

In terms of speed, you can’t beat the “set it and forget it” style of running on a treadmill. You really just pick a speed and go. I like not having to look down at my phone and check how fast I’m going. Sometimes I have felt like I was going fast and looked down to see I wasn’t, and vice versa (well, not too often;).

I set the incline to 1 or 1.5% incline. I was reading somewhere that a slight incline can help make treadmill running more like running outside.

Form: sound & mirrors!

When I run on the treadmill I think of the same things I think of outside, “land soft and quiet, take shorter steps, lift from the ankles, lean slightly forward,” I can go on and on. But on a treadmill it’s so much easier for me to hear my steps. You can hear if you are pounding the treadmill like a zombie, and make yourself run more like a gazelle. This is really beneficial to me as my running form has been my biggest challenge on my journey to my half and solving my runner’s knee. I have always been really heavy on my feet.

I’m not one to stare into the mirror or take selfies, but it is so awesome to look in the mirror and correct your form. Sometimes running upright just comes natural, but if I glance in the mirror I can correct it.

 

Breaks

Breaks count, as Regina told me months ago. When I run on the trail and hit a downhill, instead of killing my knees and quads, I take a break. When I need water, I stop at the fountain. Too many things get in my way, and I have a hard time running for x amount of miles STRAIGHT when I have enough roadblocks to cause me to walk. When I run on the treadmill, I have a full water bottle with me, and I’m ready to go. It’s easier to keep going. I like having a water bottle on the treadmill and sipping as I get thirsty, instead of waiting until I see the next fountain. There is a couple mile stretch without fountains on the trail and that’s where it always starts to feel like the Sahara desert!

Safety

I do own pepper spray, but I would rather not have to use it. I know there are bad guys anywhere and everywhere, but I feel the gym can be safer than the trail. It’s very hot here still.. Monday will have a high of 97!!! In order to run I need to go early. Early mornings are not the safest time to be out on a trail all by yourself. After the two female runners were killed recently–one in Boston and one in NY–I am trying to be more careful.

I do believe running outside is a better workout, but I do think there’s a time and a place for a treadmill.

Do you use one?

Which do you like better?

7 weeks until my half marathon!

Everyday is one day closer to my half marathon! Lately I’ve been running around a 9:10-9:30 pace.

run913

This is a good pace for me. It doesn’t feel like I’m out of breath or pushing myself too hard, which is good as I’m just trying to build up my endurance to run farther. I’m not sure yet if I want to set a goal other than finishing, but running in 2:15 would be awesome! I will definitely do a  slow warm-up (10 min miles for a mile or 2) and then try for 9 min mile paces after the first mile or 2. It is my dream to run a half in under 2 hours, but this is my first so I will just see how it goes. Races are usually really crowded in the beginning so it will workout nicely to go slow in the beginning. At my 5 mile SJ Giants race last year, my first mile was 11 mins. I had to dodge so many walkers and strollers and little ones running around. I finished in 44 mins, so I must have picked up the pace for the other 4 miles. My goal was 47 mins and I remember my excitement when I looked at my watch and realized I was going to beat my goal. I really didn’t imagine I would! Maybe I’ll surprise myself at my half marathon!

I took a few weeks off running when my ankle was sore, and I’m so glad I did. I have been running consistently again for the past two weeks.  I really had to do a reset. I was getting a little concerned about building miles but I knew that I would be better off taking time off. If any of you have battled injuries you know that running through things never helps them heal. I took some time off running and worked on strength training and running is a lot easier now. My cardio endurance/energy are my best strengths, strange considering I have pretty bad asthma. But I always feel like my lungs can go forever. It’s always been my muscles that needed more help.

The last time I went to PT I bought a new band, “Perform Better!” I got a blue one. It is much harder than green, and I wanted to challenge myself. It’s been fun using it at home and really helps you use your glutes when do kettle bell squats and lateral walking. The first few times I used it felt pretty difficult, but now it feels natural, well more natural. Maybe I’m ready for the black one now?! I highly recommend using these bands. They help you engage your glutes as you do squats and push into the band.

When I started running again, I high-tailed it to dirt hills to run. I didn’t record my miles and I know I didn’t run that many, but running uphill was fun! Running uphill always reminds me to use good form. After I could tell my ankle was strong again, I started running on the trail again.

I got a new pair of Nike Pegasus in black. I hope that I will be wearing these for my half, but they are so comfortable I find myself wearing them everywhere! This must explain why I wear out my running shoes so fast. I often times wear them even when I’m just baking cookies or grabbing a burrito. But hey you can’t beat the comfort, and I would rather walk than drive.

After having knee issues for years, I know that wearing comfortable shoes makes a difference. I don’t want to run for an hour in comfort and then walk around all day all over town in sandals. My knees and feet are much happier in running shoes.

Another thing I have done in preparation for the half is yoga. Incorporating yoga back into my life has made a big difference. Yesterday I went to a gentle yoga class and ran on the treadmill after. It really helped. I felt very limber while limber and for the rest of the day. I also woke up today feeling great, not stiff at all!

Today I went to the gym and jumped onto a step, single-legged squats on a bosu ball, one plank, (it felt like plenty!) and ran 3 miles on the treadmill. I am going to try to attend two yoga classes a week.

Questions

Does yoga help your running?

Have you ever had to take time off while getting ready for a race?

 

Last week recap

badgerchair
Could this little guy be more handsome? With his webbed paws, he’s also a good swimmer!

Last week I took a week off running and just strength trained because my ankle was sore. I got this bruise and I have no recollection of how I got it, but it was sore more towards the inside on the tendon.

bruised ankelI went to PT and got a massage, did a workout, and ran a half mile on the treadmill. My PT didn’t say I had to stop running, but I wanted to take a break. This week I worked on strength and I will resume running next week.

In case you need to be convinced a scale means nothing… Over the years I thought weight–and the number on the scale–mattered. I try to eat well and work out and train for the half, and I cannot limit my food intake when I am so hungry. About 7 months ago, I measured my weight and body composition, and I did it again on Tuesday. I had gained weight and lost visceral fat. Now, I really believe that the scale means nothing. Muscle really does weigh more than fat.

At PT I also bought a new band that’s the next level-up and gives tougher resistance. It’s harder but I like the challenge!

Yesterday I was walking and realized my shoes are shot. Even though I had bought new ones a couple weeks ago I wanted to make sure I really used the other ones up before I jumped into my new ones. Does anyone else do that? Well, now I’m confident these ones are done.

I play pokemon as I walk around. It’s a good way to see find out about what’s around you. I have found new things in town that I didn’t see before. It thought I was driving when I was just walking, though.

pokemon

Anyone else like Muesli? I am always looking for quick, filling breakfasts that don’t require cooking. I’ve been cooking eggs for years but sometimes I don’t feel like whipping out a frying pan. Muesli reminds me of a not-so-sweet granola. I am NOT a fan of oatmeal, and it does contain gluten-free oats, but there is enough variety in the mix (seeds and such) that I don’t feel overwhelmed by oats.

Today I’m going to the lake. Ambitiously, last night I was considering running a mile before heading there. Waking up this morning, I see no point. My muscles feel like they got a workout yesterday, and I’ll be wake surfing today. Inconsistency is key anyways!

What are you up to this Saturday?

Feeling like Donald Trump

Sorry I’ve been very out of touch lately!

Last week I went to Truckee. On my way I stopped in Colfax, a little old historic mining town about 45 mins west of Truckee. I love the old style of mining towns. I went to one my favorite mom and pop coffee shops,  Buzz Thru Joe’s. They have really good doughnuts, especially my favorite–maple old fashioned. I didn’t get a doughnut though because I had just ran 4 miles on the treadmill and was craving good food. That’s definitely one of the perks of running. On the days you burn the most calories, your body (usually) only wants nutritious food. I got a full-fat latte and munched on a kind bar. I’m way more likely to go to town on junk food when I’ve taken a rest day. Does in n out count as junk, though?

Driving to Tahoe is so so so easy. I really like it, even though I’m not a fan of driving. It’s beautiful. I was looking forward to getting some altitude training in and running there. The second I hopped out of the car I smelled dry mountain air and trees. It was hot and comforting, and reminded me of why I love coming to the mountains.

My parents used to have a cabin, so I have been enjoying mountains my whole life. I probably prefer snow season, but I love going to a lake and hanging out. I’m not the biggest swimmer but I like hanging around the beach, like a seal.  We rented 3 jet skis, put 2 people on each, and skied around the lake.

We were hoping to go to  Sand Harbor but there was no parking. I’ll have to go again. I really appreciate the cap on the number of people allowed in. There are no walk-ins allowed, so if you can’t get a parking spot in the lot, forget it. We couldn’t go back until 3, but we decided to go to another beach instead. I can appreciate this because I live in a really small town that’s been decimated by crowds and traffic. It’s not so easy to have fun when it takes an hour to drive one mile just to pick up lunch, or when you’re rubbing elbows with strangers on a beach. I fully support capping beaches so everyone has more fun. All you need to do is plan better. “Wake up early and go to sand harbor.”

Long story short, a distant relative refused to behave with manners and style, so I said “forget it.” Gone are the days where I must wait for a ride home with my parents. I was so grateful I had my own car, and left the next morning. I felt like Donald Trump. Sometimes when family sends their people, they don’t send their best. This was especially true last week. I was bummed to be in such an awesome location, full of natural beauty, but it was best that I left. I don’t spend much time with my family, so I was really bummed I couldn’t stay.

The hardest part of leaving the Lake though, was realizing that I missed seeing the bear family that decided to play in the water. This family visited the Lake the day I drove home. I have never a seen a bear in person, and I love black bears. I have always heard they aren’t as ferocious as brown or grizzlies.

I have twelve weeks until my half and I’m enjoying training very much! Over the next 8 weeks I need to get to running up to 10 miles. I am getting much stronger and I know I can do it!

Workouts last week:

Sunday: Strength workout

Monday: ran 5 miles

Tuesday: off, just walking

Wednesday: Ran 4 miles on a treadmill at 1% incline

Thursday: walked to downtown Truckee (mostly downhill, but it counts). At 8,000 feet above sea level walking a couple miles definitely counts! I don’t know how I didn’t feel the altitude at first, but the next morning I was a little winded. Does the altitude affect you?

Friday: Lots of core work and squats. Planks are helping me get stronger.

Saturday: Ran 4.5 miles. When I finished my run yesterday in town on Saturday the Dammit run was going on. I stopped for awhile to watch the runners! This is a really challenging up and downhill run and I don’t have an interest in running it, but it was fun to watch everyone.

Sunday: Rest. Keeping the Sabbath the Sabbath.

I got a great deal on a new pair of Pure Flows at Nordstrom Rack online for $52, including shipping and tax. This was a reminder to me to check that site more! I really like this model and would like to stick with it as I train for my half.

Who’s watching the Olympics?

I have watched beach volleyball, gymnastics, biking, swimming. I really like learning about the athletes. Of course, I’m most excited about watching Beezie Madden ride.

I had no idea that local shanty towns were decimated for the games though, and that’s upsetting. I feel really terrible for the locals.

Race recap: Radical 80s 5k

80smedal

Yesterday I ran the Radical 80s 5k at Hellyer Park in San Jose, CA. I was an infant during this decade (’89). It was extremely hot with a 9:15 start time, but I had a lot of fun.

Pre-race picture!

prerace80s

My friend Danielle went all out with her awesome 80’s outfit!! She also got 1st in her age group in the 5k!

The race swag was awesome, and I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth. The goodie bag had a t shirt, gu, wipes, plant food, a coozie, a bunch of discounts. I also got a reusable shopping bag.

The course was pretty much flat with a few tiny hills. I ran up but I always walk down to make it easier on my knee. I loved that the race wasn’t too crowded. Last year I ran 2 crowded races- Wharf to Wharf (16k runners), and SV Turkey Trot, which I believe had over 25k. It was awesome running with a lot of space around me and I could hear my music without having to turn it up too loud. I listened to the Chainsmokers pandora yesterday.

I was hoping to PR, and beat my record of 26:57. My goal was 26 minutes. I know I can reach that goal, but it wasn’t going to happen yesterday. It was extremely hot and about 75 degrees when the race began. Most of the run was in direct sunlight on a paved trail without a breeze. At the 1.5 mile mark they had a water station and I had to stop for a couple minutes before finishing the race. I drenched myself in water, and drank a lot before continuing to run. Had I not, I probably would have gotten sick. I know breaks count, but you have to be smart in extreme heat.

After drinking a bunch of water I felt revived, and had a strong finish. I was much faster on the way back. After 3 miles I feel like I’m finally warming up.

I finished in 30:29, and felt I did my best yesterday. When I crossed the finish line I needed to stand around for a bit. I never push myself in heat, so this was tough. They had a snow cone truck and pizza at the finish. I cannot eat right after running, but it was really nice to see that in case you’re hungry.

radd80s

I’m looking forward to doing another race so I can reach my goal of 26 minutes!  I also want to do another 10k soon so I can work up to a goal for that distance. My knee felt great during this run. I’m getting a lot stronger and can tell my hard work and dedication to strength training is paying off.

As I crossed the finish line the announcer said your name and your time. This race had a friendly, local feel.

After the race I checked our times and saw that Danielle and me both placed in our divisions. We went back to the race and the organizers told us they only gave awards to the top 3 finishers, but they gave us beer for a prize.

408session

What an awesome prize! I can’t wait to try it.

Would I do this race again?

Yes, but I hope it’s at 7 am next year! Everything about this race was perfect, except the late start.

14 weeks until my half-marathon! I will keep running strong and working on building my mileage up, but my #1 priority is to continue to work on hip and glute strength.

I experienced typical pre-race high, and last night I was already looking for more upcoming races. It was a lot of fun to be in a race and push myself a bit more! Any race suggestions?

Slower runs and 2 book recommendations

I only ran twice this week, but did several hikes and walks, and went to one barre class.

Earlier this week I ran 5k. This was a very strong run (9:30, 9:27, 8:32). It takes me awhile to warm up, but I start to feel pretty good around 3-4 miles. I love running in Seattle! It’s very humid here, which is a shock coming from dry California, but it is much cooler. It’s been nice not having to get up super early to run.

running trail

Running 9 minute miles is pretty comfortable these days. It’s not too hard on my legs, and my lungs can certainly handle it. Even though I have asthma, I have really good cardio endurance. My lungs can go much farther than my legs. I would like to run my half marathon at a 9 min pace, but my friend has told my only goal should be to finish. I still would like to work towards a time though.

Ever since I started focusing on running strong, running in low drop shoes, and working on my form, I was surprised to see how much slower I became. I was much faster slamming into my joints, forcing them to absorb the impact of running, and running with a heel strike in high drop shoes. Now, for the most part I am running slower, and the strange thing is sometimes I feel really fast. Oh well, I can work on speed later.

Today I ran 6.15 miles around a 10 min pace. I read this post on Janae’s blog about running slow.

Tina wrote, “My marathon race pace is around 6:00 per mile, my recovery runs are about 9:00 per mile.”

I had no idea running slower meant that much slower. My goal each week for my long run is just to build endurance, and I only record my times so that I know how far I am going. I tried to run this run slower and just focus on the distance. It was pretty hard though. I was actually aiming to run this one more at a 12 min pace since my normal is closer to 9 mins, but that doesn’t feel natural. I run at a pretty steady pace, and I’m used to going at around the same speed. I might put myself on a treadmill for the long run each week. It will make controlling the pace a bit easier. Tomorrow I might do a quick run just to stretch my legs, or else I will wait until Monday.

I have read 2 books that I highly recommend you read!

Big Little Lies. Liane Moriarty. I got attached to this one, and plowed through it in 3 days. I’m a very fast reader. I do believe that anyone could like this book. The characters are so likable, and the small world twist is just unreal.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I had just finished reading Big Little Lies when I started this one, and I didn’t like it very much at first. I don’t feel that the description on the back gives it justice, either. I can’t give the details away, but this is one you’ve gotta read. I recommend it to all my friends, especially those who had a hard time in school.

Both of these books would make excellent gifts.

Yesterday I started watching Blue on Lifetime. Julia Stiles plays “Blue,” a single mother who is working as a prostitute to earn extra money. If you like lifetime, you will love it.

Questions for you:

  • What’s new in your life?
  • Have you read any good books lately? I need another.
  • How much slower do you run your slow runs?

 

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