Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 1 of RNRLV 2016 Marathon Training 1 week down, 13 more to go

I started my training last week for this year's fall marathon.
From the Rock n Roll Las Vegas website

This time around I'm using the help of a coach.  Two years ago.  I ran the RNRLV marathon and I crashed and burned hard during the last six miles. I overdressed and ended up getting too dehydrated, and my calves seized up so bad during the last few miles of the race. But, to be honest I didn't have enough long runs in the tank... I finished in 3:49 that year.
I was so worried about being cold, that I wore one of
everything.  I forgot that my body is a furnace
that burns hot!

Last year  I ran the Deja Vu Marathon and I definitely put in the effort on the longer runs.  Unfortunately, I still missed my time goal by a few minutes and I ran a 3:42......
I put too much faith in my Garmin to accurately
pace me on a 25 lap marathon course. 

Earlier this year I was feeling a little burnt out, so I didn't really race much......But, I am really looking forward to completing this next 14-week training block and hopefully running a sub 3:40 marathon....

I'm using this blog to chronicle my efforts.

So here's how last week went....

Monday, 8/8- 4.8 miles- This was a  45-minute recovery run, and I also did a 5 x 20-second strides

Tuesday 8/9- 3.7 Miles- 15 Minute warm, form drills, striedes, 10 Minute time trial, and cool down.

I was a bit worried about this time trial... It's hot, and I feel so bloated in the summertime.  Earlier this year I was worried because I had lost some weight fairly quickly, well I managed to gain a few pounds back, and then I gained a few more..... But, I feel strong, so that's what counts right?  For the Time trial, I was hoping to average just under 7:00 minutes.... I actually negative split the time trial...

I had to share the track with some high schoolers during my warm up, but thank god I only had to share the track with one other runner during the time trial. Here's the data
Lap 1:         1:46
Lap 2 :       3:32   ( 1:46 )
Lap 3:        5:16 ( 1:44 )
Lap 4:        6:59 ( 1:43 )
Lap 5:        8:42( 1:43  )
last 300 meters in 1:18 ( started to hitch like I was going to barf and that slowed me down a little)

I averaged 6:59 per mile, but was given a heat adjustment to about 6:53 pace.

Wednesday, 8/10- 5.3 Miles- 50 Minute Maintenance run.  I decided to go outdoors to run, and it was 95 degrees outside..... I almost cut the run short, but during the 4th mile I ran through a splash pad at the park and soaked myself.
Not from last Wendsday- I just wanted to show you a picture
of the vest.

I've also been wearing my hydration vest/pack when I run outdoors.  I love this thing so much!!!! It's heavy but I can carry my water hands-free!!

Thursday 8/11 6.6 Miles- A speed workout. Two Miles warm up, a few strides, then 2 x 1.5 Miles with two minutes active recovery, and then a cool down..... I did this workout on the treadmill because running a speed workout outside is darn near impossible this time of year.  I was able to average 7:30 pace for the 1.5 Mile segments.  Here's a snapshot of the data

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 12.3 Miles Two hour run, at an easy relaxed pace...This was an interesting run.  I got up early and left the house at 6am. I'm pretty paranoid anyway, but my husband has been really nagging me about being safe, and being aware of my surroudings.  I stayed close to my home and ran loops around my neighborhood.  The pace was also slower than what I'm used to for long runs.... But, there is a reason for this.
I ran out of water at Mile 10, and I went inside a McDonalds
to drink water,Powerade, & Diet Coke

Total Mileage for the week 32.8

This week will be higher in milage and I only have one rest day as oppossed to two.

It's nice to have a coach to take some of the guess work out of my training.  I do note that I'm running my recovery runs, and my long run slower than I normally would.... But, I am going to trust the process. I have a feeling that I was probably not doing my recovery days right in the past... I like to run tempo pace, but I will not improve if I don't vary some of my routine....I'm stubborn.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

5 x 800 meters. I gotta start somewhere.

This week started out rough, but the rest of the week has been pleasant.

Monday 8/1-
 I went out at lunchtime and I ran 4.5 miserable miles.  I went out to Whitney Mesa because it's so quiet and peaceful out there.  But, it was humid, and just really awful.... The only thing that made my run pleasant was that my run BFF (my former training partner Debi), called me during the 2nd mile, and I chit chatted with her for two miles while I ran.

Tuesday 8/2- 8 miles total
I decided to try to run some 800-meter repeats......  I wanted to see what kind of shape I'm currently in.  The workplace gym was extra crowded, so I headed indoors to run laps around a warehouse.... I ran about two miles with some form drills and strides during the 2nd mile.  And then I got the workout started.
It was a lovely 88 degrees inside the warehouse.

In between each interval, I would jog/gasp for air for about a quarter mile.  Here's the data
3:42, 3:44, 3:46, 3:46, 3:45.

After the workout, I ran another three miles to cool down.  I'm happy that the intervals were somewhat even, but I am disappointed that they weren't a little bit faster.....But, this will be my starting point. I think I could have run this workout faster on an actual track.

Wednesday 8/3- Two a day 6 Miles total + Strength training.

I ran almost three miles before work, and then at lunchtime, I ran just a little over three miles.   Then I did  a little bit of weight training.... I'm still strength training at least once or twice a week.  Even if I don't make it the gym I will do planks, push-ups, and my beloved donkey kicks.  
I have just been really lazy about logging my strength workouts into Strava, and I'm not blog posting as much as I used to (hangs head in shame).....

Thursday 8/4-  6 Miles at Whitney Mesa-  I decided to go back to the park because the weather was perfect for running.  We had a huge rainstorm dump down on us last night, and it cooled off the valley by like 25 degrees....

Tomorrow is going to a rest day for sure.....

Marathon Training Begins on Monday
Well, I hope to start posting on a more consistent basis.... I begin training for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon next week.  I have a 14-week training cycle, and I have reached out to a local coach for help this training cycle.  I trust this coach because he has a lengthy history coaching runners, and he has helped quite a few runners smash through plateaus.
 I have a 10-minute time trial coming up soon that I am starting to get nervous about.  But, I am looking forward to putting in the work, and hoepfully running a solid marathon in November.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Catching up, What's next?, and SLS3 Hydration Vest Sneak Peak.

Hi there!  Long time no post.  It's still hot and it doesn't look like there is any upcoming relief in sight.

For the past few weeks, I have scaled back my mileage.... At the end of May, I was feeling pretty beat up.  Earlier this year I had discussed letting go of my distance base and not worrying about hitting a certain amount of miles each week.  I took that advice for about a week or two and then I just kept on  running the same volume.  By the end of May, my left hamstring and right heel were both feeling tender.  Then the heat turned on in June, and I just naturally needed more days off.  Schoolwork was catching up with me as well.  Currently, I've been averaging about 20-25 miles a week for reference last year I was averaging 30-35 miles a week.

August 8th is when I begin my next training cycle in preparation for the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon on November 13, 2016.  I'm giving myself a 14-week training cycle (16 weeks just seems too long for me).  My goal is to hopefully run a sub 3:40 marathon.   I'm not sure which training program I will use.  Last year I used Hal Higdon's Advanced Training Free online program when I trained for the Deja Vu marathon.  I'm considering using the help of a coach.  But, I'm not 100% sure about that yet.

A few weeks ago I started my third term of my Master's program.  I guess I have gotten used to the grind of graduate school.  Time management is essential, and I don't have as much free time as I used to, but it's not going to be forever.  One of the things that I noticed is that I miss baking.... I used to bake all the time!!! Bread, muffins, tortillas....Baking was the first thing to go when I had to start budgeting my time.  :(
I made these the weekend of the 4th of July. I didn't have
any homework or assigned reading.  It was in between the
2nd and 3rd term.

Runs that were worth mentioning since my last post

Earlier this month I went out to Bootleg Canyon on my lunch break, and it was hot but, manageable.

The following week, I nearly gave myself heat exhaustion..... I ran 4 miles at high noon, and I was really irresponsible that day.  I drove out to an isolated bike path, I ran carrying a handheld bottle, but I didn't bring my phone.  Here is an overhead view of the bike path.
I'm a moron for choosing to run in an isolated area in 100
degree heat.  Shit can go from good to bad quickly. I won't be
heading out here again until it cools down.

I made it back to my car safely that day, but I felt really bad for taking chances in the heat.

Last weekend my husband and I drove to California, to celebrate my 20th high school reunion.  I ended up running twice while I was back home. I did short trail run in the Ventura Mountains,

My kids got to play with their cousin
while I went for a short run in the hills.

And then I ran another 4 miles (tempo) before my reunion.  Here's a picture from that night.

I had a blast catching up with old friends and dancing the night away.  The hardest part was saying goodbye to my family in California (and the weather) and driving back to broiling hot Las Vegas.

Yesterday I had an interesting run...  I'm lucky that I have a gym at my workplace.  However, two of the four treadmills are currently broken.  On my lunch break yesterday I really needed to run.  But, both working treadmills were being used.  I couldn't head outside..... So  I ended up running laps inside an empty warehouse.

 I felt silly the first 5 minutes in but, once I found my rhythm the time/miles went by fast.

SLS3 Hydration Vest
Recently I received an offer from SLS3 to try  out a hydration vest, at a huge discount.   Normally this vest costs about $50, and I received this one to try out for about $9.00 (That included overnight shipping too)
The vest comes with two
small bottles

Back of the vest

Me trying to get a selfie with a good shot of the vest.

I'm not a big fan of Camelback-style hydration packs.  I don't like drinking fluids out of that straw thingy  and they are pretty expensive. I prefer to carry a handheld bottle so that I can  spray my face with water while I run.   In the summer I wear a waist belt to carry my phone and cash.  But, lately my waist pack has been bugging me, and after that scary run where I didn't bring a phone with me, I figured that I might want to try wearing a hydration vest with pockets.

I took my vest out for a 5 mile run this morning and I can already tell that I really like this vest a lot!!!

I will wait another week or two before I write up an honest review, I also hope that SLS3 will give me a discount code to share with you.

Well, I guess that's all I have for now.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I'm a creature of habit....Deja Vu Much?

This morning I drove out to the Pittman Wash and went for a short 3.7-mile run....

Without me realizing it I actually ran this exact same route/run one year ago.

What's even funnier, is that I still have the same nagging heel pain in my right heel.  I remember it bugged me for a few months, and then I added some arch supports to my dress shoes, and the pain went away.  I think I may need to replace some of the insoles in my dress shoes...

I'm glad to see that my paces are still in the same range.  I don't expect to get faster, I just want to maintain my base and stay healthy before marathon training begins in August.

I just thought this was a funny coincidence.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

More bitching about the weather, and some Retail Therapy

I started writing this post two weeks ago so please  bear with me.


I took this picture on a Sunday evening. I think this is when the heat really began to get awful.  It was just after 6 o'clock and I needed to pick up some ice...  Monday was a rest day, Tuesday I ran just over 8 miles on the treadmill, Wednesday I went outside for a short 2.5-mile run.  Thursday was a short treadmill run, and on Friday I ran 9 miles on the treadmill.  It ended up being so gross that weekend.  That I didn't run outside at all.....


In the past week, I have gone outside running once, and it was less than two miles.  The dog days of summer are here.   This morning I felt like running, but then I stepped outside, and it was disgusting. There was cloud coverage, but the air was so thick.  FWIW the humidity out here is really low.   It is a dry heat.  So sweat evaporates quickly and if you have a gentle breeze, running outdoors can be manageable.  But, once the humidity goes past 30% you lose the benefits of evaporation cooling, and it just doesn't cool off at all.

This was at 748 in the morning.  The morning low that day was 95 degrees.

I decided to skip the morning run, and at lunchtime ,I surprised myself with a great treadmill workout.  I did  a pyramid  or ladder workout.  I ran 8 miles,  The first 16 minutes were at an easy pace.  Then I did the following intervals 5 min tempo, 4 min tempo, 3 min medium hard, 2 min hard, 1 min spirit, 2 min hard, 3 min medium hard, 4 min tempo, 5 min tempo.  In between each interval, I would run easy for 2 minutes.   Here's the data:

This workout went by really fast, and I think I'm getting better at zoning out on the treadmill.
Tuesday 6/28- No Running, I just lifted weights
Wednesday 6/29 4 Miles progression on the treadmill
Thursday 6/30- Rest-  I still did some stretching and some planks
That night a horrific storm hit the Las Vegas valley.  In a short period of time, quite a bit of rain fell in the valley.  But, it also cooled off the temperature by like 30 degrees!!

Friday 7/1-  Since the temps were nice and cool (mid 70's)  I ran four miles tempo... Looking back on this run, I was full of anxiety.... I had two term papers to finish, and I was just so exhausted and stressed.  This run helped me get out some of that frustration before work.

In other news. I just completed my 2nd block of classes towards my MBA degree.  This program is going by fast, and it's brutal... But, I'm still moving forward!!!!  I start my next block of classes on July 5th.

Saturday 7/2-Rest- I did quite a bit of swimming in the backyard pool

Sunday 7/3-  8 miles total I took my new headphones out for a run, and they weren't charged. Womp Womp!! (More on those headphones later)
I ran about 4 miles on the road, and then I head up into the Sunrise/Frenchman Mountain.  I did a little bit of exploring, and then I headed back out the same way I came.

Retail Thearpy
Even though running conditions have been shitty, that doesn't mean I'm not on the lookout for good deals.....
I also recently recieved a task assignment/bonus at my work... I put most of it away in my savings but I still had a little bit of money to treat myself.

I found these Nike Zoom Structure Flash ID's  on sale and with free shipping these shoes cost less than $60.  They are originally are priced at $120.00

Sports Authority has decided to go out of business, and they are trying to get rid of their inventory.  There is a location pretty close to my work and the first time I went in there, most of the items were not really marked down.  The next time I went in, some items were 20-30% off.  

This was a total impule buy... I was stressed out with the school, and I think the heat is making me a little crazy too.

I purchased a pair of Yurbud Leap wireless headphones.  I got them for 30% off but, even with the discount they were $70.00..... I have mixed feelings on these... When they work, they are awesome, and on point!  They fit great in my small ears, can handle a lot of sweat. and have great sound quailty.

But, when they don't work... Which is about 40% of the time... They suck!!!  I didn't have any trouble pairing them with my cell phone.  But, it's hard to know when I turn the headphones off and on.  You are supposed to press the center button for three seconds and the lights will begin to flash when they turn on.  To turn them off, you hold the button down again for three seconds the lights are supposed to stop flashing, and that doesn't always happen, and the battery will lose it's charge without you realizng it.   I'm also really hard on my electronic devices.  And the buttons on these headphones are teeny tiny....
 I wish there was a simple toggle switch to turn the headphones off and on. Grrrrrr.. 

I also purchased two pairs of compression socks from SL3S.  I purchased one pair at regular price and got the 2nd pair for free, and they gave me a free technical T-shirt too!

I paid $32 for two pairs of socks.  I probably won't even touch
these until September.. It's just too freakin hot!

The shirt is a black techinical tee.  And in Las Vegas I will only be able to wear this shirt outdoors a few times a year.  I don't like black tops, but this shirt is kinda cute/cheesy.


The last peice of gear I wanted to show you is my new MiraCool Cooling Bandana.  I bought a four pack of these little towles on

You soak the bandana in water and it is filled with substance that reacts with water, and it creates a reusable cooling ice pack/towel.   I wore it today for a short three mile run.  And I think it really helped keep my body temperature lower...  

FWIW: I paid for all of my new running equipment, with my own hard earned cash..... The product reviews are my own, and I am not being compensted for my opinons.

I guess that's all I have for now.  Thank you fo reading!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

You are Going to Burst into Flames if you Step Foot Outside!

Ok. Not really. Maybe...
I feel like a sloth...But, then I remember that exercising is a lot harder in conditions like this.....

But, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was in a funk right now....

I'm stressed out with school.  My hours on the weekends are spent juggling family responsibilities and studying....

I miss being able to dive headfirst into running when the goings get tough....

But, at the same time, my body is telling me to deal with my stress in different ways cause running in this heat is not going to help....

Last week on a rare day when the daytime high was only 95 I went to Bootleg Canyon. I ran 4.5 miles and I had a great run.
It was only 88 when I was out there running around.

But, since then, the daytime highs are reaching record temperatures.  My  current block of classes ends on July 3rd.  I'm functioning in survival mode.....

In my last post,  I explained that I was on the mend from a back injury..... I took that week easy, and then the following week I was able to run 34.5 miles.   Last week my feet and left hamstring hurt so I scaled it back to around 15 miles...

I don't think I will be doing any "epic shit"  in the next few weeks..... I'm just going to be in maintenance/survival mode until the end of August.

I'm sorry for the whiny nature of this post.  But, I feel like doo-doo.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I hurt myself on my day off.

I decided to take a rest day on Monday (two days ago).  Earlier this year, my husband began revamping our garage by turning it into a mini gym.  We moved our treadmill and chin up/bar dip station into the garage, and we also purchased an Olympic bar and some weights.

Sometimes when I'm in the mood, I will knock out a few chin ups or do some bicep curls. I'm not talking about an actual workout,  just when I feel like screwing around in the garage for a moment.

Well, I had a burst of inspiration (and stupidity) on Monday morning.  I decided to do some deadlifts without properly warming up... The first set was okay.  During the 2nd set.  I must have rounded my back (or arched it) but, I felt my back seize.  I put the weight down immediately. I'm pretty sure it's just a muscle strain, but the lower right side of my back near the base of my spine is sore.... Great.....

I knew that I was ready for a rest day, I had been on a two week plus streak, and I had a killer tempo run on Sunday....


I can run, but getting up from a sitting position to a standing one hurts, and so does bending forward.  I'm going to give my back a chance to feel normal before I start running again.  This muscle strain could have been so much worse, and I feel like a total dumbass for being so careless. I have rested for two days and my back does feel slightly better each day.  I'm going to take another two days off...

It's midterm week, so I have two papers to write.  It's also blazing hot...  Last week I was able to go to Lake Las Vegas, and run some trails because the morning temps were in the 70's, now we are looking at mid-morning temperatures in the 90's and daytime highs in the 100's .  The heat is here, and so is treadmill season (boo!)
My last hurrah  out at Lake Las Vegas for awhile.

I have a tomato face in this picture, and it wasn't
nearly as hot then, as it is this week.

I have totally learned my lesson, and I will be more careful when lifting heavy weights.

This stuff is awesome.
Thanks for reading.