Monday, April 25, 2016

Updates Running for the House 5k Race Report and my weekend visit to Oxnard

I don't want too much time to pass before I post again.... I should be writing a paper but, I'm blogging instead.
Since my last post I have raced a 5k, and then last weekend I went to Oxnard to visit family.

Running for the House 5k.  
Other than the weather being totally crappy. I'm pretty happy with how the race went.  
I'm right behind Ronald McDonald in the green shirt.
I got to the race site a little early to pick up my bib, and to do a proper warm up. I jogged two miles, and during the second mile, I did quite a few strides. The wind was insane.

The course was a bit challenging.  The first mile climbed 70 feet, and we were greeted with 40mph headwinds.  My goal was to go out hard and hang on for as long as possible.  I was also hoping to go sub 22 minutes.

I liked the fact that the course didn't have too many turns.  We started off on an uphill grade and against the wind, and then we made a right turn into much stronger headwinds I tried to tuck in behind other runners, but we were already spaced far apart.  

Mile 1-   7:13 (This mile climbed about 70 feet) Strava measured it as 50 feet, but Map my run measured it as 74 feet.

The severe headwind part only lasted for about a half mile (it just felt much longer), and then we turned the corner.  My goal was to regroup and pick up the pace.

Mile 2  7:02

We started heading down the grade and the wind was at my back.  I heard someone breathing right behind me, and eventually, he went around me.

Mile 3 7:04
The last part of the race is back up the grade and into the wind, I'm starting to close the gap on the runner that passed me, but I wasn't quite able to catch him.

.15-1:01 (7:02 pace)

Garmin time 22:20
Official Time-22:18
3rd in my Age Group
5th Woman overall
Here's the Strava data

I think I could have gone a little bit faster if the wind hadn't sucked all the life out of me early on.  This is a 10-second improvement over my time in January... So maybe this is progress... I did want to make note that I have recently gained about 5lbs back from what I was weighing earlier in the year..... Some of it is fluff, but I hope most of it is muscle.... I had been feeling really run down at the beginning of the year.  I had assumed that running at a lower weight would equal faster times... That wasn't the case... I actually feel stronger now with a few extra pounds on my stocky frame. 

Weekend Trip to Oxnard
Over the weekend, my family and I went back to Ventura County to visit family.   We left on Friday morning, and we came back on Sunday.  I managed to run twice while I was there.... 
On Friday night, we went "camping" in my parent's backyard.  I know it sounds corny but my 3 and 5 year olds loved it.
Roasting marshmallows in a makeshift fire pit.

Sleeping in a tent... There were two tents, but all four of us
crammed into a single tent, I was so sore on Saturday morning. lol.

My first run was at Arroyo Verde Park in Ventura... This park brings back so many fond memories.   I used to run there often when I was a teenager, and this was also the site of a few my high school cross country meets.  Before my husband and I started having children we would stop here to run during our Christmas visits to Ventura County.  My husband was super nice to watch our kids while I went for a short run.  I ran about three miles up some pretty and challenging trails, and then I met up with my family, and my little boy wanted to run some of the trails with me.  Here are the pictures.

Then all four of us went on a short hike.

Later on that day, we visited my husband's family, and we made a quick stop at the beach.

We got back to my parent's house, and I had time for another quick run.  I figured that I wouldn't be able to run on Sunday, and I was feeling a little antsy.  I did a short tempo run, around my parent's neighborhood.  I love running at sea level.  I don't notice the elevation while I'm out running in Las Vegas, but I really notice it when I run at sea level.  The air is not as dry either.

Yesterday went by in a blur.... between the drive, laundry, and chores, I'm wiped out.  I did make a sort of healthy dinner last night.
Chopped Salad, Fried Tofu, and leftover Vegetable Rice.

Well, that's all I've got for now. I have two term papers to write, and the procrastination is killing me right now.  I hope I can focus better later.

Thank you for reading :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Running updates and a 5k on the calendar for this weekend.

Earlier this month I celebrated my birthday by running 12 miles that  morning.
Sunday 4/3-
I had a small slice with coffee before my run.
 I wanted to run where I wouldn't be interrupted by traffic, so I headed out to the Sunrise Picnic area.
Photo by Scott Hagan and courtesy of Clark Couty Nevada
This area is kind of isolated but, I was happy to see several cyclists out there.  When I reached the picnic area I decided to head off road.

  I'm familiar with the area and I wanted to cut across the desert to end up on another road that I normally run.  It wasn't a super warm morning, so I didn't bring any fuel or water with me.  I ran about a mile into the desert, and then I was greeted with No Trespassing signs. I kept heading in the same direction
Then I was met with a really large ominous sign that said, Trespassers will be prosecuted... I also saw large metal boxes in the desert.  I decided to just flip a u-turn back out to the same way that I came.  

 I was kind of thrown off when I couldn't see a landmark anymore due to one of the valleys in the terrain.  I can understand how easily you can get turned around in the desert....  I have to be careful no matter what.  #Safteyfirst.
Here's the run data:

That day ended up being warm so I spent quite a bit of time sunbathing and swimming in my backyard pool.

The week of April 4-10
Last week started off really warm. 

Monday 4/4- This was a rest day,  I met my husband for lunch.

Tuesday 4/5-   4 Miles and some weight training. I tried to run some tempo miles at lunch time, it was 83 degrees when I left, and it was the first time I took my handheld bottle out for the season.  I'm not using the orgininal bottle that my Nathan hand held came with.  That bottle bit the dust last summer.  But, I bought this hand held bottle back in 2010 so I can't complain

 I also did some weight training on this day.  Here's what I did:
Dumbbell chest presses
Seated leg raises with an ab twist
One arm rows
Dumbbell hamstring deadlifts
Straight arm dumbbell pullovers
I used an 25lb EZ curl bar for the following exercises
Bicep curls
Upright shoulder rows
Single leg lunges
Good mornings
Lat Pulldowns
Half burpees
One set of situps on an incline board.
On this day, I wore a pair of dress flats that had zero arch support and that night my right heel started to feel tender.

Wednesday 4/6 Two a day Total of six miles plus weight training.  In the morning, I ran 2.5 miles so I wouldn't feel antsy at my desk.  This was a progression run.  My heel was a little tender when I got started but, once I warmed up I was fine. Here's the data:

 At lunchtime, I ran again, but this time on the treadmill, and it was short hard progression run of about 3.5 miles. For weight training I did the following exercises:
Decline Arnold Chest presses
Weight situps on an incline board
Back extensions
Back Flys
Incline Push-ups
Roman chair straight leg lifts
Donkey Kicks
1-minute handstand against the wall (trying to balance off of the wall)

Thursday 4/7 -   3 miles. I had to run an errand at lunchtime, but I was close to the Whitney Mesa Recreation area, so I did a short run with some hill repeats thrown in.
I hope you enjoy my pictures of the dirt.

It was warm (82 degrees), but there was cloud coverage so it felt much cooler.  That night a weather system moved into the valley and the temperatures began to fall.

Friday 4/8.  I had arranged to come into work late and then work through my lunch break...  I still ended up showing up late for work....  Instead of running for an hour it was closer to an hour and 20 minutes, but man this run was awesome!!
A few weeks ago I discovered a different trail head, that is near the Amagosa Trail.  I don't think it's an official marked trail..  It might just be a fire road, but it leads up into Black Mountain.
This picture is from a few weeks ago.

I had always wanted to climb the trails on Black Mountain, and hopefully, make it all the way to the top.   I went up the trail in the photo above, and then I found this trail.
View from the top

This trail was a false summit because it headed back down into a residential area.  I then found another trail that was pretty difficult to climb.

 I ended up climbing a few of the different trails that  head up to the top.  But, some of these climbs were super steep, and I chickened out on going up further.

After climbing up and down for close to an hour, I headed back down the hill, and ran two more miles on the road.  This run ended up climbing over 1,000 feet. Here's the data

Saturday 4/9-  5 Miles It had started to rain early in the morning, and then it stopped briefly.  I headed out and I felt like climbing some more.  I headed up into the foothills.  I didn't bring my phone with me because I was worried about ti getting soaked in the rain.  It was really nice to hear the birds chirping and the dogs barking.
This picture is from last year.

Sunday 4/10 7.6  miles.  This was a tempo-ish sort of run....

**Sidebar** My mindset about running has changed since I"m not really training for a marathon or half marathon right now. I think since I don't feel obligated to run very long (12+ mile runs) I enjoy kicking up the pace instead.  When I had to hit a certain number of miles per week I would do my runs at an easier pace in order to be able to tack more miles on.  If I'm just running 3 miles I want to feel the burn.  Same thing with running for an hour. I don't feel like I'm running an all out race pace, but I don't feel like I'm taking it easy either. I guess deep down I want to regain some of the speed I lost training for a marathon.  That and I just enjoy the way tempo pace feels.**

I chose a route that was mostly flat, and I just gradually tried to increase the pace.  Here's the data:

5k race this weekend

I was supposed to race this event last year, but I ended up getting sick with the stomach flu.  I hope I can go sub 22 minutes but, we will see. 

Thank you for reading, this long post.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bubbles and Trails, and Midterm Papers Oh My!

Hey there! Just checking in briefly.  This week has been rough!  I'm not getting as much sleep as I would like, but I hope to catch up on that this weekend.

Last weekend My son ran his first "race" it was a color/bubble themed run.  My friend and coworker Clarice had invited to this event back in January and we purchased tickets online via Groupon and the race only ended up costing $20.  I would have never imagined doing one of these runs...I kind of thumb my nose at these events.(I'm a competitive person, give me a no-frills $5 track club race with just a clock and runners to chase)  But, I knew my kid would love the atmosphere...I can't take credit for all of the neat photos.


Me, Sammy, and Clarice


Thank you for all of the neat photos Clarice!


I was worried that a 5k might be too far for my little guy, so we ended up cutting the course twice.  We ended  up running 2 miles.   If this were an actual timed race with age group awards, then this would have been a huge No No.  But, this was an untimed bubble fun run, so if I do sign him up for an actual race, I will probably need to find a shorter distance event.
No pressure kid.  I want you to enjoy running
when you are ready to race you will let me know.

I went out to the Amargosa Trail again this week.  This trail is super close to my work, and its pretty challenging.   It's steep with lots of rocks, so I have to be extra careful on the downhills.  I told myself to just enjoy the run and don't worry about taking pictures for Strava (lol).. On the way back down I couldn't help myself and I snapped this neat shot.

This is another picture of the trail, but I took this a few weeks ago.

Midterm Papers
I'm currently enrolled in an online MBA program, and I'm halfway through my first quarter. I'm taking two classes, and I had two midterm papers due this weekend.  I stayed up late a few nights this week because I wanted to finish them early....My birthday is this weekend and I wanted to relax a little bit.  Tonight I'm baking a cake, and tomorrow morning. I'm running long (12 miles maybe)

I hope to check in again next week.