Month: July 2016

Race recap: Radical 80s 5k


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!


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.


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.


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?


How many rest days do you take each week?

I ran some speedy miles today. Didn’t see that one coming!


I ran 4 miles total, and had to take some breaks due to downhills or uneven roads. My knee is doing a lot better, but I don’t want to push it, which is why I skipped my long run this week.

My plan is to go back to my long run one week from today. I really need to be careful, and cannot push myself too hard. I am doing a half marathon in November and want to be strong and feel good. It’s best that I scale my miles back when I feel an issue with my knee and focus on strength and recovery.

About 3 miles in I remembered something from pure barre. I need to remember to tuck my tail bone a bit. I didn’t realize how much I arched my back, which led to a disengaged my core. Being strung out doesn’t make for good running.

After looking at my improved times, I can tell rest is working well for me. Yesterday I rested completely, besides stretching my hips.When I got home I did some kettle bell squats.

Take-aways from this week:

I need more rest days. A LOT. It felt so good to not run after a weight day. Yesterday I was very sedentary and my legs felt great today.

How many rest days do you take per week?

Pure Barre Review

It’s sort of a fantasy of mine to be a ballerina. This was me on Halloween.


Lizzie was a character from Game of Thrones. I don’t watch the show so I don’t know who. 🙂

I could have been a ballerina. I have narrow hips, high arches, and broad shoulders, but I took up riding instead. It’s not that different. Riding is graceful too.


I had contemplated taking a Pure Barre class for a few months. Ballerinas are incredibly strong. Each time I thought about it I figured I already do strength workouts, why try something like this?

Two days ago I was too sore in the knee to run and thought I should mix it up. I found some barre style workouts on youtube and tried them out. It was very different than what I’m used to. I signed up for a class yesterday and went last night.

I was a little nervous and didn’t know what the class would be like. Would I be able to keep up?  Well, all my questions went away once I arrived. The teacher was super helpful. She adjusted me a lot.

The class was a segmented hour, and begins with strengthening muscles and then stretching them. We started off strengthening arms and shoulders, then moved to the barre for legs/glutes, and back to the floor for the core work. It went pretty fast.

I am always looking for ways to strengthen my hips and glutes because muscle weakness contributes to my knee issue. While doing isometric exercises my stabilizing leg was shaking, like when you do ab workouts and you get the side obliques “earthquake muscles” going.

These exercises were so difficult. Most of the time I had to stop and take a break. They were just so hard, with many reps. Each time I heard “30 more seconds” I was already barely unable to hold the pose. I had to take breaks but I tried to hold it for as long as I could. The barre is there to support you, which is something I need to learn. Hanging on feeling just didn’t feel natural to me, but it does make it easier to let the barre take some of your weight.

Will I go back?

Absolutely. I have read online that a lot of runners use barre for strength training, and I can see why now. Focusing on such small movements forced me to use the correct muscles. This is an issue for me. For example, I’m quad-dominant. When running my legs prefer to carry me a long, versus my butt and hip muscles. It’s better if you can get your glutes to absorb most of the shock instead. After a few miles of running quad-dominant, my legs will tire and my knee will hurt. And, I love any workout you do barefoot! For this class you just wear grippy socks.

How did I feel afterwards?

Blissful. Fatigued, but not spent. Tired, yet in such a good, clear mood. Sometimes after a run I’m practically in an alternate dimension. This workout was hard but it gave me a different feeling of exhaustion than what I feel after cardio.

My legs felt so limber afterwards. Any stiffness in my knee and hips disappeared. I felt so agile, which is not common for me.  For the help with flexibility alone, it was worth it to attend this class, and it was so much fun trying something new. I was in such an elevated mood. I cannot wait to go back!

Next day thoughts

Well, I’m not as sore as I imagined. I’m not as sore as I have been from lifting weights with my PT. I slept like a baby and feel good today. I will probably go for a long walk or hike today to stretch out my muscles.

Questions for you:

  • Have you ever done ballet?
  • Have you tried barre? Do you like it?

4th of July morning run

Happy 4th of July! This is my favorite holiday. If only I had this pair of shoes in red, white and blue!

I went running early this morning. I ran a half mile to warm up, then started recording my time.

My first mile was 9:01, second 8:23, and third 8:27. After recording I ran the rest of the way home but didn’t want to think about time, I just went off feel. My feet were a little tired yesterday so today I ran in my Nike Pegasus with superfeet insoles. They have plenty of support, but I have to make an effort to not land on my heel. I don’t plan to run in these shoes daily, just occasionally. I want to be able to run as fast as I did today in my flatter shoes. I could definitely feel that my calves weren’t working as hard today in the Pegasus. I will do my next run in my Pure Flows.

It was already getting hot but about half of this run was in the shade.

Yesterday one of my readers, Susan, suggested I eat a bagel in the morning before running. I didn’t have bagels in the house, but I had sourdough bread. I made toast with butter and rushed out the door. My stomach was happy and I didn’t get dizzy when I finished running like I had been before. Thanks for the tip, Susan! After running I had eggs, linguisa, and potatoes. That’s a good recovery meal.

We had burgers for an All-American lunch and fish tacos for dinner. I’m slowly getting back into the habit of cooking more!

fish tacos

If you haven’t tried Sierra Nevada’s otra vez yet I highly recommend it.. . It tastes like not very sweet lemonade. It’s so refreshing! I tried to buy more at Safeway but they were out. I will have to stock up any chance I get.

How was your 4th?

Training plan for the week

My friend was visiting the last two days and we were pretty lazy this weekend, but we had so much fun hanging out. I’m always active, and taking a day off was nice.

Before I started running today I did some dynamic exercises, single-legged squats with a 10 lb weight, single legged squats with a resistance band, and lunges. Then I walked to the track and ran a bit just to keep good form in my mind. I am really loving the track. The bounce is perfect!!

It’s nice to see I can run faster on shorter distances. Over time I will get my speed back.


After two laps warming up I kicked off my shoes!! FUN FUN!

Running barefoot felt great. It was still hard, but easier than the last time. My calves were not as hard as rocks and it felt a bit more natural this time.

Here is my plan for the rest of the week:

Monday: Run 3 miles (8:30 pace)

Tuesday: Weights and walking

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 6.25 miles of running (10 min place)

Friday: Weights and walking

Saturday:  Run 3 miles (8:30 pace)


  • How’s your running going?
  • How many days a week do you run?




Post-run dizziness?

Last week I did my long run (6 miles) in Santa Cruz again. I just prefer to run alongside surfers, dogs, and in cool weather. I’m building up 5% a week in preparation for my half marathon and right now I’m at 6 miles.

It’s so beautiful over here, and much cooler than where I live. I was planning to run very early, but I happened to wake up 11 mins before my alarm went off and I was like “no, no, not happening.” So I turned my alarm off and I slept until 8. I definitely cannot run in my town at that hour due to heat.

I made nutty oats for breakfast, and then drove over the hill and ran 6 miles alongside the ocean around a 9:30-10 min pace. I am not worrying about timing my long run each week, I’m just working on building mileage. I have transitioned to running in shoes with a lower offset for all runs and it seems like it’s making me run slower. But Mark Sisson says you gotta slow down to get faster. I sure hope that’s true for me. Wearing the shoes with a lower offset has made running a lot harder. I want to start running faster but need to keep speed work for my shorter runs. My weekly long run once a week is just to build endurance.

pleaure poit

It was a lovely 57 degrees during my run. Sounds cool, but I still got super sweaty! I wanted to stay and have lunch but I was way too sweaty to be comfortable. I had to get home and shower. After my run I got in the car, and instantly felt dizzy. Unfortunately, this has now happened twice. The second I sit after running I am dizzy. Luckily I had some candy in the car, so I went to town on it. Starbucks sells this lemon and raspberry flavored candy that are like Starbust. It got my blood sugar up quickly and I felt okay within a few minutes.

After a shower I went out and got lunch and drank a tangerine wheat beer from the Lost Coast. This beer helped me recover from my long run. I hadn’t ran 6 miles in a long, long time.


My friend suggested I eat Swedish Fish while running. During her ten mile runs she starts eating a fish each mile.I am thinking I may need to start eating more carbs before running.

  • Have you ever been dizzy after running?
  • How do you prevent dizziness?


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