Tag: Gone For a Run

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

Hello! I know I’ve been a stranger lately, but I’m back! After my (very first!) half marathon at the Urban Cow Half, I took a little break from blogging. (You can read about my race here!) I also took a break from running for almost a week so there really wasn’t much to blog about anyway. Then, the break continued because I honestly felt a little lost post-half. Having no direction after 8 weeks of training had me feeling unmotivated and wondering what to do next.

My first ever 13.1 sticker to show my half marathon pride!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you know I finally got around to doing some onesie or twosie runs. I even threw some 4 mile runs in the mix. Overall, I feel good running regularly again! On the flip side, I’m still a little lost haha but it’s all good! So I’m gonna break down what I’ve been up to lately:

Moms Run This Town

My local MRTT chapter did a couple of special events this month and we had a lot of fun together! First, we got together for Love Your Body Day and ran in our sports bras to celebrate body positivity! This is something I’m really passionate about since choosing to love my body 2.5 years ago led to me losing over 100 pounds. (You can read about how my mindset changed here!) I love how empowered, strong, and beautiful these women are. We were all so happy to be a part of this event!

Loving our #beYOUtiful Momentum Wraps

Later in the month, we got together again for a Halloween run for the “Live Love Run” Virtual 4 Miler! Everyone dressed in costume – we had a cat, football player, storm trooper, Steampunk Ariel/Little Mermaid, and I was a ninja! I have to say…my costume choice wasn’t the smartest. It was really hard to breathe through that mask. It sure was fun though!

After our 4 mile run, we all enjoyed tasty treats! There was a whole spread with coffee, donuts, baked goods, bananas, and water. We got to hang out and chit chat and laugh and I love these ladies so much! I say it so much because it’s true. I can just pack them all up and take them to Germany, right? Our friend Misty (@disney_princess_on_the_run on Instagram!) is famous for her finish line jumps so we all knew we had to get a jump photo before the day was done. Behold, our glorious, gravity-defying leap!

Magnificent

Eating Vegan

I’ve been vegan for almost 9 weeks now! I really like it. I won’t say it’s not trying at times, especially when trying to eat out, but it’s pretty easy! I get a lot of questions about it which I enjoy. (You can read about how I came to be vegan in this post.) I’ve been photographing my meals because I’m constantly asked “what do you eat?!” and I’m going to make a post all about my new way of eating and hopefully show that vegan food is delicious and nutritious because it is!

Germany

After my half marathon, we basically dove into the deep end of Germany move preparations. For those who don’t know, my husband Chris got orders to Germany and we move in January. Time is flying! We had about a zillion appointments, passports, medical, dental, etc. Plus other preparations like buying entire winter wardrobes and overseas house-hunting. I’ve also been trying to learn German? That’s a question mark because I feel like I’m doing a terrible job haha. It’s hard! Plus, I’m using the Duolingo app which I like but it’s not very thorough. If anyone knows a better free/cheap app I can use…I’m all ears!

Shopping

Speaking of winter wardrobes, all of my warmer clothes from last year were too big. That is always like a 70:30 ratio of YAY:ugh. I don’t like having to spend the money on the clothes but obviously, being a healthier me is a great celebration! I had a little “Is this real life?” moment a couple weeks ago in the dressing room at Target because all the size Large tops I had grabbed were all too big. I had to go back and get Mediums! After being overweight since…forever, and previously wearing size 2/3XL shirts, this was like a dream. It still blows my mind! It was a nice non-scale victory!

One of my new medium tops in all its glory

Turning 31

I had my 31st birthday on November 1st! We celebrated a little early during Chris’ days off work. First, Chris baked me a vegan chocolate cake!

It was so yummy, we were all scarfing it down! My son Alex was asking for birthday cake all week long after that haha.

Later that evening, my friend Katharine was kind enough to come stay with Alex while Chris and I went for a night out. He took me to this great restaurant, Hook and Ladder, in Sacramento where they had their regular menu plus a whole vegan menu! I had a couple of tasty cocktails and the most amazing vegan mac and cheese!

It was a delicious dinner and then he took me to see the movie IT…just in time for Halloween! We never get to go to the movies (#parentlife) so it was soooo nice! He knocked it out of the park with my gift too. He got me these Jaybird bluetooth earbuds for running!

It’s great to have these because I was constantly pulling the cord of my old earbuds out of my phone or ears while I ran. He also got me a mobile charging pod for them. He said he was thinking of the future when I train for more distance races and I’m far from home for long runs. I thought that was so sweet! All in all, a fantastic birthday!

Training

It’s hard to find your groove again after being on a scheduled training plan but it’s been nice running little short runs again. I do want to be more scheduled about my workouts and incorporate strength training and speed work more often. I do best when I’m working toward a goal so I want to make a goal of a sub-30 minute 5k but it seems like I’m far away from that kind of time. Speed work would help me get there, it’s just a matter of committing and doing it.

Strength training would not only make me a better runner, but it would tone up my body. I keep hitting this wall with weight loss and I don’t think it could be nutrition because I am doing so well with food. I believe strength training would burn the excess fat and pull in the…for lack of a better word…flabbier parts of me. Women who have had a baby or anybody who has lost a considerable amount of weight knows what I’m talking about! I finally got motivated enough to do a strength workout this week and I’m trying to hammer out a schedule and get into a new routine!

Races

I have a few races coming up! Some shorties to keep me occupied until Germany weather allows me to train for another half. I might be doing the Hands of Hope Turkey Trot 5k but I have yet to hear back if it is a stroller-friendly race. I hope so! I have another Turkey Trot that I will definitely be running on Thanksgiving Day. It’s sponsored by my MRTT chapter and participants will bring non-perishable foods to donate! I will also be doing the Running with the Elves 5k in early December. It was my second ever 5k last year so I’m excited to run it again! Finally, I may be doing the Yuba Sutter Tri Club River Run 5k/10k. My in-laws will be in town so I’m not sure if I will have time to run it but I’m hoping I can! You can take the links I have here or see my Races page to see the events I’ll be running and hopefully join me!

So now you know I’m still here and still working on myself and setting goals and I hope you are too! Tell me what you’ve been up to in the comments below! Have a wonderful weekend!

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

Ending week 2 and going into week 3 of half marathon training feels like a nice turn around! I was having increased shin pain last week (you can read about that here) which led to me taking 2 unscheduled rest days before my long run on Saturday. I wasn’t looking forward to doing 6 miles because of the pain that I was sure would follow. Except it didn’t.

Last week, I wrote that one of my goals was to be extra diligent with stretching and rolling. I kept true to that goal, especially on my long run day. There was a lot of extra calf stretching and shin massage. I think it made all the difference because I had zero pain. I’m going to continue this extra self-care and hopefully it will keep the shin splints at bay.

Speaking of my long run, I headed out with my Moms Run This Town group for my 6 miles. Almost all of us are training for the Urban Cow Half Marathon which is really nice so we can all train together! What’s better than running with friends on a long run? Not much, except maybe brunch together after!

In case we hadn’t had enough fun together, that evening we all met up again. It was Misty’s birthday! (Follow her on Instagram! @disney_princess_on_the_run) We grouped up and walked the Gone For a Run’s Run Now Wine Later 5k!

The birthday girl was kind enough to let me use her pictures!

It was fun strutting around town, chatting and laughing. At the end, we headed into a local bar and shared a drink and some great conversation! I told the ladies how glad I am that I pushed aside my shy feelings and fear of running too slow back in March and joined MRTT. If you have a running group you’d like to join but you’re worried about something like that, don’t be! Join! It has been such a gift to interact with these awesome women who inspire and motivate me.

On Tuesday, I had 4.5 miles on the schedule. I woke up feeling really energetic and had a good feeling about my run. It was overcast and cool outside, so even though I didn’t run until 9 A.M., it was perfect weather! Normally, it would already be way too hot. I don’t know what else to say except I just felt good! I hadn’t had a run that good since my “Best Run Ever” that I blogged about back in July.

Yes, I had to take walking breaks. Yes, I went “slow.” However, I can sense my endurance rebuilding and it feels great. Also, I’ve been making an effort to post my average pace for my runs since I’ve gotten back into it.

I feel like I’ve seen and heard a lot of runners lately worrying about how “slow” they are. One person’s slow is another person’s dream pace. There is too much negative self-talk floating around about speed. My runs have been averaging about 12:00/mile lately. I want to be faster like everyone does, but I’m not in a rush. It takes time. I just ask you to be okay with where you’re at. Don’t compare yourself to others or let self-doubt creep in. Just keep working and you’ll get to where you want to be!

Now I need to have some real talk about cross-training. I know that cross-training is incredibly important for a lot of reasons including strengthening muscles and helping prevent injury. I also know that I have been severely lacking in this area for many months! It’s just so much easier to walk out the front door and go run. I had decided, for my half training, that I was going to swim twice a week to cross-train. Out of 5 swims that should have happened by now, I’ve gone swimming twice. I hated it both times. I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt and keep at it. That didn’t happen haha. What happened was that I did nothing on my cross-training days and I am not happy with that! So basically, I need to get my crap together and figure out another way to cross-train. I like yoga but I’d like to do something that makes me break a sweat. That will be my goal this week!

What are your goals? What’s your favorite way to cross-train? Comment below!

Run, Swim, Walk, Run

Run, Swim, Walk, Run

Last week, I blogged from beautiful Napa Valley! I made a goal to enjoy the rest of our vacation and keep running easy. It was a pretty simple mission and, boom, mission accomplished! Our getaway was the perfect mixture of romance for me and Chris and great family fun for Alex!

Life with a crazy, upside-down toddler!

On Thursday, I had a 3.5 mile run on my training schedule so I got up early and headed to Downtown Napa. (I’m training for my very first 13.1 at the Urban Cow Half Marathon!)

We had eaten at a restaurant in that part of town so I’d had a glimpse of the beautiful historic murals, river views, and interesting street art in that area. I just knew I had to run there!

After my run, we had some family fun in Sonoma and then headed home. We absolutely loved our vacation and I wish it could’ve lasted longer. We definitely need to go on family vacations more often!

On Friday, I had a 30 minute swim at 5 A.M. on the schedule. However, after getting less than 6 hours of sleep three nights in a row, I chose to sleep in. After some much needed rest, I did a half hour YouTube yoga session in my living room! With it being my first week back to running, I was needing the stretch anyway so it worked out.

On Saturday, it was time for my week 1 long run! I suited up and headed out the front door for 5 miles.

How can you not enjoy a run with this view?

I wanted negative splits and I wanted to take things slow as I have been, so I walked a good portion of the first mile to warm up. I continued to take walking breaks as needed throughout the remaining 4 miles. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3, I ate an energy gel and it helped get me in the groove to finish my run strong. I did achieve negative splits going from 13:37 in mile 1 to 11:31 for mile 5. As you can see, I’m definitely taking things nice and slow.

On Sunday, my beautiful mom flew in from Washington to stay with us for a couple of weeks! It’s the last time we’ll see her before we move to Germany later this year so it’s an extra special visit.

Alex and I picked her up in Sacramento and we spent some time in the city. We had lunch at a delicious taqueria and hit up my favorite running store, Fleet Feet Sac!

Alex only had eyes for his Grammy.

I grabbed a basket and loaded up with an assortment of new gels to try in all different flavors.

I’m excited to experiment with these as I train to see what I like for my half marathon! What’s your favorite gel brand or flavor?

On Monday, it was a 5 A.M. swim again and this time I got up and went. Fortunately, I can use one of our local pools for free! Unfortunately, it’s not the best quality. First of all, it was very dark.

Yes, that’s as lit up as it got. There were two lifeguards out there watching me so it wasn’t because somebody forgot to turn the lights on. There’s a second reason it’s not the best pool around. I had been thoroughly warned that because this is an outdoor pool, there would be little buggies from time to time but I was not expecting the little friend that came to visit. A mouse jumped in and wanted to swim some laps! I’m not much of a scaredy cat so I just moved out of the way and let the lifeguards scoop him up with a net. I guess if I want to keep swimming free, I have to accept I’m sharing the pool in the dark with some critters. I’m not exactly thrilled about it but it’ll do for the next 7 weeks.

When we were planning our visit, my mom told me that she wanted to exercise together because she is on a weight loss journey of her own. She has lost 45 pounds in the last year! (You can read about my weight loss journey here!) So after my swim on Monday, we went for a 2 mile walk.

On Tuesday, I headed out for a pretty 4 mile run. Along my route was a giant, beautiful sunflower field so of course I had to check it out 🙂

I definitely struggled with this run. There was quite a bit of walking but I had an overall pace of 11:57 which isn’t terrible for me. I’m used to running very early when it’s cool outside. This run, however, didn’t start until about 9 A.M. so even though it was nice weather, it was a lot sunnier and warmer than what I’m used to. It was a hard run, but hey, I got it done!

I have still felt that feint, dull ache occasionally in my shin that, as I previously posted, has never gone away. It’s not bad yet, but I can tell it has slightly increased in discomfort since I started running again. I’m looking into a new pair of shoes which is a bummer since I just bought the shoes I have back in May. I’m looking at the Asics Gel Nimbus 18s because I’ve worn Asics in the past and they were on a list of shoes good for shin splints. I’d love to hear any opinions on shoes good for this!

This weekend, my mom and I will be participating in the Gone For a Run Run Now Wine Later Virtual 5k with my Moms Run This Town group! I’m really looking forward to doing this with her and it’s going to be a fun time with my MRTT ladies!

My goals for the week are to keep running easy, be extra diligent with stretching and foam rolling, make sure I get up for my 2 swim sessions, and I have my long run of 6 miles on Saturday! What are your goals for the week? Comment below! Have a great one!

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