Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sick Kiddos and Bootleg Canyon on a Friday Afternoon

I'm mostly training for stress relief right now.  But, I'd like to think that I have a somewhat structured workout schedule.  Ideally my schedule would look like this.
Run & and or Lift
Run and or Lift
Longish Run or Run/Lift
Longish Run

I will move my rest day around if I'm feeling sore, tired, lazy, or if I have a errands to run at lunchtime etc.  I try not to take more than two days off in a row.  I tend to get really crabby if I don't work out on a regular basis.

Last week my daughter had croup. It started as a mild cold, and then it got pretty ugly for a few days. My world was turned on its head,  nothing matters when your children are sick.  My training was all over the place.
Anyhow my daughter is doing much better this week, and I hope that the next few months are pretty uneventful.

Last Weeks and This Weeks Training Updates

Monday 5/18 - Rest- My daughter was sick,  I had to work a shortened workday, and then take my kiddo to the pediatrician in the afternoon.  No time for running.
A middle of the night selfie with me and Rachel.  I would be a terrible
mommy blogger with these kind of pictures.  I think it was midnight and
she couldn't sleep.  We watched Octonauts on Nick Jr.

Tuesday- 5/19 A little over three miles.  I went to work, while my husband stayed home with our daughter.  On my lunch break I drove over to the Whitney Mesa Recreation Area to explore some of the trails.  Here's an overhead view of the trails.

The red squiggly line is where I ran.
Nice amount of hill climbing for a short run.

That night my daughter took a turn for the worse.  It seemed like the medicine for her croup wasn't working very well, and she was having trouble breathing.  I slept with one eye open, and with her propped up on pillows sitting up.  We both slept like garbage.

Wednesday 5/20- Rest- My daughter went back to Dr.'s office, she was given a stronger dose of steroids, and that helped open up her airways, she also received some antibiotics to be on the safe side.

Thursday 5/21- Short run in AM- I ran somewhere between 3 and 4 miles before work, and at lunchtime I did some body weight resistance exercises: Sit ups, Single Leg Lunges, Step ups on to a bench with a high knee, push ups, and a few chin ups.  Then I also worked on my stretching.

Friday 5/22 -7 miles @ Bootleg Canyon-I got off of work at noon on Friday and I decided to ditch my planned  10 mile run along the Pittman Wash Trail, to drive out to Bootleg Canyon to get some trail running in.  The weather in Las Vegas has been cooler than usual, my days of running at lunchtime and after work on Friday's are numbered. However this past Friday It was a pleasant 70 degrees at noon.  I figured "why not?"

Bootleg Canyon is considered a mountain bike park.  There are many dirt trails that intertwine.  There is also a trail head to the paved River Mountains Trail Loop.  The trail loop itself is about 34 miles long and it connects between Henderson, Lake Mead, and Boulder City.

I have run a few different races along the River Mountain Trail, but I have been out to Bootleg Canyon only twice before.  This is where the start of the Saints and Sinners Half Marathon is.   When I arrived I noticed that there was an event being held in one of the large canyon areas.  I didnt' want to run through a campsite or disturb anyone, so I headed out in the other direction.  I was also wary about getting lost, so I stayed close to the paved River Mountain Trail loop.  The dirt trails were great, because they kept intersecting the paved trail, so it was pretty easy to not get lost.
I ran about two miles trail, and the rest paved trail.
This run was a doozy with just over 800 feet of decent
followed by 800 feet of climbing.
I also neglected the majority of the soft dirt trail available
at Bootleg Canyon.

 I ended up running about 3 and a half miles down towards lake mead, then I flipped a U-turn and ran 3.5 miles back up.

I tried to  hold back and relax while running downhill.  I kept smiling at everyone I came across, and I was having a blast.  The weather was mild for May in Vegas, there was plenty of  cloud coverage.  I did bring my handheld bottle with me to be on the safe side.

I took this picture before the climb back up.  You can kind of
see Lake Mead in the background

I had fun running up this sucker for the last mile back up to the top.

The paved River Mountains Trail Loop

Squinty eyed running selfie.
This is why I don't do Instagram
Who needs to see pictures like this?

The ride back was tougher, but it didn't wipe me out nearly as bad as I thought it would.  I just plugged away like a mountain goat, and I promised myself to try not to walk.  Here's the Garmin Data

Holy Elevation Batman!

Saturday 5/23- 6 mile shuffle.  My mother in law came to town,  I was sore, but grateful to get out of the house for some fresh air.  My legs were pretty sore from the day before.  I ran six miles along the Sunrise Picnic Area Bike Trail. It was flat, but it didn't provide much shade.

Sunday - 5/26 Rest

Monday- 5/27 A little over 8 miles,  The temps are getting hotter, and my perceived effort vs. pace is starting to mess with me.   This run felt sluggish at the beginning and then towards the end. I got stopped by the same dogs from a few weeks ago.   This time they didn't stay in their yard, and they were roaming the street.  I had to stop running and then back track some, until I felt that I was a safe enough distance from them.

 I'm bummed because  I absolutely love to run on Los Feliz Dr.
Not the best picture, but the view from up here rocks!!

But, I'm not going to risk being bit by a dog.  I need to figure out how to let the homeowner know that their dogs are being a nuisance.  I also have to ask myself if the confrontation with local neighbors over their dogs is worth the trouble...

Tuesday 5/28 I ran a little over 3. miles before work.  On my lunch break  I went to the gym to lift.   I worked out my upper body with the following exercises.  Flat bench press with bar, Bent over rows with bar, dumbbell bench presses, incline push ups, decline push ups.  I also did some crunches on the stability ball.

Wednesday 5/29-  I ran 2.5 miles on the road before work.    Then on my lunch break I ran 3.25 miles in the dirt at the Mesa Whitney Ranch Recreation Area.  I'm loving my new scene.

That's all of got for now.  If you made this far, Thank you for reading :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Which Marathon Should I Run in the Fall or Winter? Rock N Roll Las Vegas or The Hoover Dam Marathon

I'm trying to readjust my thinking about the marathon. 

I'm torn on which race I should enter, because I have to decide what I want my next marathon to be.... 
A)Do I want to make another PR attempt at Rock n' Las Vegas on November 15, 2015
B) Would I have more fun trying to snag an age group or overall award at the Hoover Dam Marathon.
on December 12, 2015.

The first option has me feeling "meh",  I raced the RNRLV marathon last year, and I was disappointed with my results... It was my 1st marathon back after a five year hiatus, naturally I wanted to PR on first attempt back at the distance...  The more I keep thinking about it, the more I am turned off about trying to race for a marathon PR in the evening.  This race would be a great marathon to run for "fun".  However, the price of admission to this fun is $135.00 (It's only going to get higher) before the processing fee....  And the logistics of this race are a huge pain in the ass. The course was super crowded during the early miles, and parking is awful. The only thing that has me excited about the race, is that it is a well organized, and you get what you pay for (cool shirt, neat course, shiny bling).

For my race goals, I would love to improve from my time from last year's (3:49:06), but I am greedy and would probably train to race a 3:30 marathon and then be super butt hurt if I didn't meet my goal.

I know if I don't sign up I will feel like I"m missing out on this huge running party on November 15, 2015.

I am actually getting kind of excited  about this race.  First off, the race is held in the morning at 8:00AM.  That is a great time to start a marathon! I don't have to get up, super early, and it won't be as cold as a 7:00 am start.  The course is beautiful.  It runs through the train tunnels, so it has both dirt and paved sections.  This will not be a PR attempt.  But, I would like to run a competitive race and hopefully snag an age group award.  The logistics will include me parking my car in the parking lot, and walking to the start as opposed to fighting traffic on the strip.  The price is also a more wallet friendly $95.00

My race goals for this marathon would be to run a 3:45 or slightly faster time.  I don't want to give myself delusions of grandeur to think that I could go sub 3:30 on this course.  It's a pretty tough course. 
I get to run through these  again.

Then next year I think I will try to focus on lowering my marathon time some more, There is a new marathon that is going to be hosted by Calico Racing that is promising to be flat and fast in the spring of 2016.

Seeing this written out in a blog post-I think has made me realize how I really feel about RNRLV.
I think I'm leaning more towards Hoover Damn,  Can you guys help me finalize my decision?

As always thank you for reading

Friday, May 15, 2015

Making the most of things (Morning Commute, Morning Runs. Change of Scenery, and New Shoes)

Hello there.  It's been over a week since my last post, and it has gone by in a blur.  I haven't been doing anything too extraordinary on the running front.  But, I did get my feet a little dirty this week.

Morning Commute Angst
For the past eight weeks  my morning and evening commute has been a real pain in the butt.  The  Nevada Department of Transportation  has closed off one of the main entrance points to my neighborhood to repair the roads/gas lines. Now I am forced to take a detour and the freeway to work in the morning.  In the evening I can surpass the freeway, and take side streets to get home, but this has left my commute taking an additional 10-20 minutes each way.   I'm trying to get out of the house earlier in the mornings but, it doesn't seem to make a difference.  Traffic will lighten up somewhat when the schools let out for the summer at the beginning of June.   The road project is expected to wrap up August 1st.

I started running in the mornings last week.  I have also started to do a few two a day workouts.... I don't think that I 'm so hardcore that I must work out twice a day. However, I really enjoy doing a short run before work.  It helps to take the edge off after sitting in traffic, and I feel more focused when I am sitting down at my desk all day.  Since I don't have time for an 6-8 miler before work.  I don't mind running 2-3 miles before work and then doing a few more miles at lunchtime.

Another bonus is that I am leaving that pesky Garmin behind.  There is absolutely no point in wearing a Garmin for  these short shake out runs.  These runs are mostly for stress relief. There is no need to stress over pace.  I realize that last year I was turning my shake out morning runs into tempo pace negative split runs.  It's fun to run fast, but I want to err on the side of caution for awhile.

Training Updates and A Change of Scenery
I have about two weeks worth of entries, I won't blather on too much.

Monday 5/4- Circuit Training with weights and a few body weight exercises, and stretching

Tuesday 5/5- Somewhere between 5 and 6 miles. Ran somewhere between 2-3 miles at Cornerstone park, my legs were a little sore from the 5k over the weekend so, I stayed on the dirt paths on the inside loop of the track.

At lunchtime I went and picked up my new shoes(more on that later) and I went for a short run 2-3 miles run in them on the Pittman Wash paved trail.

Wednesday 5/6 - 3 miles before work, and some weight training at lunchtime.

Thursday 5/7-  Rest

Friday 5/8 -  Short shakeout run before work. More than two but, less than three.  I also headed out along the Pittman Wash Trail.

Saturday 5/9 - I wasn't in a big hurry to leave the house in the morning. So I waited until my daughter took a nap and I ran 4 miles neighborhood. It was muggy and warm.  No Garmin or watch.

Sunday 5/10 Rest- It was Mothers Day, we took the kids to Sunset Park and let them run around.  I also needed to dye my hair.  So no running today.

Monday 5/11  Almost 9 miles.  I ran 3 miles before work.  I am so over running on the streets near my place of work.  It's a terrible time to be running on busy streets.  I was running on the shoulder of the road, and I felt a car brush by me way too close.  I think I will be sticking to parks, trails, and paths.  At least until school lets out.
At lunchtime I headed out on the roads again, about three miles into my run, I decided to do a little off roading.  I'm a wuss when it comes to trail running, so I don't do it very often.  But,  as I get older it is really starting to call out to me.  The surfaces are much softer, and I don't have to worry about playing frogger with the cars.  I ran about a half mile on this beauty

and then I flipped a  u-turn back out.  I think the next time I head out here, I will park my car near the trail head and do some exploring.

Tuesday 5/12  Two miles before work, I still wanted to get some trail running in, and I discovered a new area to hike/run.  The Whitney Mesa Recreation  trail head opened up last year,  I was kind of in a rush, (It seems like I have been in a hurry for the last month straight).  So I didn't have a lot of time to enjoy the scenery.  I ran up onto the mesa, and ran along the ridge line, and then ran back down.  Here are a few snapshots.

This trail was very gentle, and well maintained.  I think I would like to explore some of the more rugged trails at a later date.

Wednesday- 5 miles- 3 in the morning before work,  Then I really worked the heck out of my upper body in the gym.  In February I sprained my wrist when I fell running
I have had to modify my upper body workouts until my right wrist stopped hurting, and I am happy to report that I feel like I have regained most of my upper body strength that I lost.  I was able to do two unassisted reverse grip chin ups!  I also worked on my push ups and handstands up against a wall.  I don't take pictures while I'm in the gym, So you will just have to take my word for it. I also ran two miles at recovery pace on the treadmill.

Thursday 5/14- Rest-  I did a few planks and some stretches, but I wouldn't call it a workout.

Friday   5/15-  Around 5 miles... I ran around Cornerstone park in the morning, and today on my lunch break I went to Sunset Park.  The change of scenery has been wonderful

New Shoes
Last month I was really excited about a new pair of Nike's.... It turns out I never got a chance to buy them.  They were too expensive ($120), and on my birthday I ended up taking my kiddo to the Emergency Room, and there went my extra cash for running shoes.

Two weeks ago I thought I lost my Brooks Ravenna's so, I began to search for discount running shoes.... I found another sweet deal at  And I scored a new pair of Brooks Adrenaline's for just under $60.00
Mother's Day Gift
 I have been running in these for almost two weeks, and they are wonderful!  They provide a lot more support than the Brooks Ravennna's and it doesn't hurt that they are my favorite color.

Well that's all I 've got for now. I hope to post a little more frequently, so you won't have to read a wall'o text.

As always thank you for reading!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2015 Edition-With a Few Flashbacks Thrown In.

I raced that 5k over the weekend.  It went well.  I'm not overjoyed about my time, but I can't say that I was really expecting a much faster time.

This race and I have quite the history.  In the 12 years that I have lived in the Las Vegas area, I have raced this event six times.  In 2005 I was the 3rd woman overall with a time of 21:19.  In 2007 my time of 21:07 was good enough for 5th place overall.

In 2008 checking my watch in disbelief.

Also from 2008, I'm standing with the 3rd place finisher
Downtown Las Vegas Racing-How I love all of your 90
degree turns.

In 2008  I ran my fastest time on this course with a 20:30. I remember thinking that the course had to have been short, I couldn't believe that I finally went sub 21 minutes (and by a lot), that day was good enough for 5th place again.  In 2010, I ran a 20:55 and that was good enough for 6th place.  I was just barley pregnant with my son Samuel, and I didn't know it yet.  In 2012  I ran a 21:54 and I just barley cracked the top 10.
From 2012, and I look like I'm ready to puke.

Going into this race, I kind of had high expectations on where I would place overall.  Sometimes this race brings out the big dogs.  I would much rather run a faster time and place lower, than place higher and run a less competitive race. But, you never know what race day will bring.  

Before the race

On Saturday morning. I woke up a little earlier than usual.  I made my kids and husband breakfast, and then I got dressed.  For my breakfast  I had a slice of toast with butter, two eggs over medium, and coffee.  I left my house at 6:45.  The race started at 8:15 but, I wanted to find a good parking space and have plenty time to warm up.

For my warm up I jogged two miles very slowly and then I did some strides and form drills..  While warming up for my last race I noticed that my hips and groin had been feeling tight.  I was worried that once I began to do my strides, that something would feel off.  Fort the past two months I have been really trying to take it easy and layoff of the speed work.  I have run a few tempo pace runs, and have done some fast finish runs, but I have been so paranoid about injuries lately.  I was happy that my strides felt normal, and maybe a little sluggish.

It was a warm morning, I decided to wear a white shirt, but I wish I would have gone with a tank top.  The temps were  in the low 70's before the race even got started.

I moved into the corrals at about 7:45, I know that's pretty early, but this race has one of the craziest starts.  They try to split up the walkers and runners.  But, usually a few determined walkers will line up right front on the line.
The 2010 Start Line

It is always the best to see my runner friends in the corrals.  I ran into Toshie, Erin, and Christina before the race.

Me, Toshie, and Christina from last December's
LVTC Holiday Half Marathon.  

I took off and found my groove, I always take off way too, fast to try to get away from the crowds during the first 800 meters.  I had wanted to negative split this race, but in reality a 5k goes by so fast, that you just try to run as hard as you can for 3.1 miles.

We turned the first corner and came upon a water station......  Now normally I wouldn't care about a water station so early in a race, but I was grateful to dump a cup of cold water on to my head.

 During the first mile I tried to notice the females that were ahead of me.  The lead pack was about 30 seconds ahead of me, and Erin and Toshie went by me during the first mile.

6:47 (right on)

I saw that first mile splitt, and I thought "okay now lets  try to maintain this pace".    The course had quite a few 90 degree turns, it is hard to keep your momentum with the turns...

During the 2nd mile my arch rival (I'm joking) James Alejandro and his son Evan, went cruising by me.  I laugh because it never fails... James has dusted me on several occasions.  We run around the same times, with him being the faster runner.    He is very good at negative splitting races.  But, getting back to the 5k.

I kept James and his son in my sights, they had caught up to Erin and Toshie, and we all began to run in a pack for about a quarter of a mile.

7:03 (meh)

With a mile to go, I felt that I had some starch left in me, and I began to prepare for the final kick down.  We were running down a street with a slight decline.   I made my move and went around the pack that I was running with.  I also grabbed another cup of water and I dumped it on my head.

The final turn down Fremont street is on a slight incline, I think I started to pick up the pace too early, because my final kick wasn't very strong at all.   That slight incline felt like I was running in place uphill.  James and Evan came hauling right by me, this time for good.

7:13 (D'oh)
Hindsight is 20/20 and I think I just didn't want to hurt too badly, so I didn't force myself to run harder.....  I'm kicking myself for not digging deeper. James and Evan finished over 20 seconds ahead of me.

.14- 59 seconds (6:51 pace)

Garmin Time 22:02 (3.14 miles)
Official Time 21:59
8th woman overall 2nd in my age group

From Left to Right (Me, Toshie, Erin, James, Evan)

Erin, Me, Toshie.  In my head I am worried about how bad
I stink.  I didn't want to hug Toshie too closely to me. lol.

After the race, I briefly chatted with friends, took a few pictures, and then it was time to hurry home.  I didn't stay for the awards,  they usually only announce the top three winners overall, and I knew that wasn't going to be me this year. However, My friend Christina placed 2nd overall!

Final Thoughts
I wish that my time had been faster.... But, you can't have it all.  I remember how nervous I had been feeling during my warm-up.  Even during the last mile of the race, I thought to myself "hey your hip isn't hurting", and that feeling of relief is priceless.   I could begin to do speed work to gradually bring down my 5k time.  But, I don't want to risk any injury right now.  My goal is to make it to the start line of RNRLV marathon healthy and ready to race, and hopefully PR at the end of this year.

I have a few other thoughts about training that are rattling around in my brain, but I will save those for next time.

As always thank you for reading.