Category: 5k

Streak Until You Dash!

Streak Until You Dash!

Happy Monday! I’d like to invite you all to join Sweating Awesome’s #12DaysofChristmasStreak! Starting December 14, walk or run at least 1 mile every day until December 25! This is a great way to stay motivated during this time of the year where the cold weather, hectic schedules, and holiday overeating can give you a lot of excuses not to get out and exercise. This streak will have you feeling less stressed and burn all those extra calories you’ll be consuming!

The #12DaysofChristmasStreak will also be a great way for those participating to start training for the Move More Fitness Jingle Dash 5k! This is a virtual 5k being held December 17-31! If you’re in the Yuba-Sutter area of California, I’d love for you to join my in-person meetup for this event on December 30! Here is a link to the event on Facebook where you can find more information and RSVP: My MMF Jingle Dash 5k.

Whether or not you join the Jingle Dash, I’d love for you to streak with me! Again, the only rule is to walk or run 1 mile every day December 14-25! You can also take pictures and tag #12DaysofChristmasStreak on social media! Of course, be sure to tag me in your photos so I can see all your streaking fun!

You can find and tag me on social media here:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/sweatingawesome

Instagram – www.instagram.com/sweating_awesome

Twitter – www.twitter.com/sweatingawesome

Happy Streaking and Happy Holidays!

It’s All Getting Real

It’s All Getting Real

Happy Friday and First Day of December! I can’t believe 2017 is almost at an end. The countdown to Germany has finally begun. We have dates set for movers and plane tickets booked. It’s finally feeling real – we are moving overseas soon!

The past week has been a series of errand-filled days with a healthy dose of stress. Good thing I have running to keep me sane. Alex and I got to run the Wheatland Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day! This free event was sponsored by my Moms Run This Town group to collect canned goods for the local food bank. A lot of families turned out for the race and it was a lot of fun! As always, I’ll take any chance I can get to run with my MRTT ladies!

Follow my friends on Instagram! Gail @spaceangel92 and Misty @disneyprincess_on_the_run!

Stroller running with my son Alex is more and more fun as he grows up. He sits up and looks around when he used to lay and chill. We talk about the blue sky, the cars, the trees, the crunchy leaves, going fast, going slow, and everything in between. We love to sing songs too! He is definitely the best running buddy I could ask for.

After the Turkey Trot, we spent the day watching the Macy’s parade, cooking, and relaxing! Once my husband Chris got home from work, we enjoyed our tasty meal. Turkey for them and vegan sides for us all to enjoy. Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, and Mushroom Gravy. I used all Minimalist Baker recipes and they were so delicious you’d never suspect they were vegan!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Sliced Almonds given to us by a friend. Very tasty!

Some of you may remember I participated in a #RunChatHunt running scavenger hunt over the summer hosted by @TheRunChat. It was a blast finding new running routes to check things off the list and I get to do it again. @TheRunChat is hosting a holiday-themed #RunChatHunt and I’ve already been hard at work seeking out the new catalog of items! If you’re a runner and have a Twitter account, you should join in on the holiday fun! There’s a whole list of prizes you could win by participating!

Christmas lights, Wildlife (a small owl!), Star Wars decorations, Cup of Coffee – Check!

The adventures of being vegan continue and I’m still feeling great about it! (Wondering what vegan eating looks like? Read this post!) A family member of mine decided to try veganism after seeing me make the switch. After a week or two, they gave it up because they were worried about receiving enough of the proper nutrients. This made me dig deeper into making sure I was getting a good balance of nutrients myself which led me to this article. I was pleased to see that I eat most of the foods listed so I am, at the very least, on the right track. I’ve decided to up my superfood intake and plan my meals out to have a more well-rounded, mixed up diet day by day. That will be my dietary focus this week. I started today by making this quinoa superfood salad. Tasty and filling!

Quinoa Superfood Salad – missing pomegranate seeds because sadly, I couldn’t find any pomegranates.

This weekend I will be attending the Running With The Elves 5k in Marysville, CA! It’s the first time ever (and probably last since I’m moving away) that I’ll be returning to a race I’ve done before. I’ll be stroller-running but I believe I will still set a nice course PR! Here’s a photo of me crossing the finish line last year.

I’ve made literal great strides with running since this was snapped!

On December 16th, I’ll be running the YSTC River Run 5k in Yuba City and I’ll have cheerleaders! My in-laws will be visiting from Mississippi so they, my husband, and son will be there to watch me race!

On December 30th, I’ll be hosting a 5k! As a Move More Fitness Ambassador, I got the opportunity to host a meet-up for the MMF Jingle Dash Virtual 5k! Everyone is welcome to join us, including strollers, kids, and pets! If you’d like a bib and medal to commemorate this 5k, you can register here. Registration closes December 10th. This will be my farewell run before I fly out of California two days later. I hope you’ll join us to walk, run, and jingle into the new year! If you use Facebook, you can RSVP to the event through this link.

‘Tis the season for holiday races! What holiday-themed shenanigans will you be getting up to this month? Comment below and have a wonderful week!

Running and Wine-ing

Running and Wine-ing

I finished up my resting this past week and prepared to run after taking 3 weeks off. I was still feeling feint, dull aches in my shin at random but the pain was pretty much gone.

On Saturday, I ran in the EMPOWER Race 5k near San Francisco. You can read all about my fun experiences at this event in my Race Recap! It felt so great to run again! I was a little out of shape and had to walk here and there but being back out in the fresh air and getting that runner’s high again was amazing! I was worried my shin splints would flare right back up but they didn’t. Yay! I’ll only be running 3 days a week on my training plan so hopefully they’ll stay subdued or even go away completely now that I’ve given up the streak and I’m not running or walking every single day.

Sunday was officially day 1 of my first half marathon training! It was a rest day so I used it to pack for our vacation to Napa.

Hey…I have my priorities straight.

On Monday, Chris, Alex and I loaded up the car and made our getaway to wine country. We’ve been having a great time here (yes, I’m blogging from Napa this week!) That evening, I did my first cross training session. I went for a 30 minute swim in the pool where we’re staying and it was tougher than I thought it would be! At the 15 minute mark, I was ready to quit haha but I made it through my full 30.

I’m already an OOFOS addict!

On Tuesday, I went on a gorgeous trail run by the river.

It was an easy 3.5 miles because I’m taking things slow and not jumping back into running head first. I’m trying to stay injury-free. I just enjoyed the beautiful views, fresh air, and feeling good running again!

Later that day, a nanny came to watch Alex while Chris and I went out kid-free for the first time in almost a year.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in style, heading to Stags’ Leap Winery first, grabbing a delicious pastry at Bouchon Bakery next, and finally to a fantastic dinner at Brix restaurant!

My goal for the week is to enjoy the rest of our vacay and easy runs. I have a long run of 5 miles on Saturday and my mom will be in town to visit starting Sunday! What are your goals this week? It’s prime training season for fall races! I’m training for the Urban Cow Half Marathon. Are you training for a race? If so, which one? Comment below!

Race Recap – EMPOWER Race 5k

Race Recap – EMPOWER Race 5k

Since I am a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach, I had registered for this race all the way back in April. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to this race for quite some time! It was held at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA across the bay from San Francisco. Right next door? The Rosie the Riveter Museum! She is the ultimate symbol of empowerment and was the mascot for the race!

This was my first time running since the Peach Festival 5k 3 weeks ago. I took a break due to shin splint issues in my right leg. I was nervous it might flare up again but overall, I was so ready to get back to running! On Friday, the night before the event, I put together my Flat Christa!

I slipped into bed at 9 P.M. with my alarm set for 4 A.M.. I had a long drive ahead of me to be there at 7 for bib packet pickup. On Saturday, I started my morning with coffee and getting dressed. I hit the road at 5 and it was an easy, traffic-free drive to the event!

As I was driving, I kept checking the dashboard to see the temperature slowly dropping as I got closer and closer. I went from 75 degrees at home to 60 degrees by the bay! It was foggy and windy too so I was definitely freezing in my pink tank top.

That view is worth freezing for!

I should’ve known better since I’ve been to the bay area countless times. It may have been fate though because I was standing looking out at the water and a woman asked “Aren’t you cold?” I told her that yes, in fact, I was freezing and we laughed. She said that she’d also shown up in a tank top but luckily for her, she’d brought long sleeves in her car. This woman was Tara (follow her on Instagram: @medicineandmarathons) who is in SF for a short while for med school! Yes, that’s right, she’s going to be a doctor soon. How impressive is that? I’m also blown away by the fact that she’s doing all of that and still running races and keeping a healthy lifestyle.

We bonded over being cold, took some photos, and got to know each other while we waited to run. She is a really sweet person! When it was time to line up, I followed her to the start and she planted herself right in the front. I had to tell her “Well…I’m going further back because I’m not this fast!” We laughed and I headed to the middle where I belonged. I always love the starting line because everyone has that nervous or excited energy buzzing through them. We’re all stretching, moving, shaking out, ready to go! We can’t be still. I love it.

We finally heard the countdown and we were off! I started very slowly just to feel out my shin and make sure I didn’t overdo it. The course was gorgeous. We ran all along the water and there were boatyards and beautiful parks. I wish I could run on that path every day!

My first mile was a little under 12 minutes so I was fairly pleased with that time.

I kicked it up a little bit with each mile after that for negative splits. I did have to take several walking breaks but I was fine with it. I was just so happy to be running again and I kept waiting for my shin to hurt but it didn’t.

I came around the final corner and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face!

I was handed this beautiful Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap as a finisher’s prize.

“Sweat. Run. Empower.” Could there be a more perfect quote for me? That could be the Sweating Awesome motto. Working hard, exercising, and motivating others to get healthy is why I started this blog! I think this wrap will hold a special place with me always. My second finisher’s prize came in the form of the cutest pancake ever.

It was tasty too.

I wandered around a while, took a lot of photos, watched people crossing the finish line, and then headed into the Pavilion to check my official results. It wasn’t my best race but considering I hadn’t run in 3 weeks, I was feeling really good about my time!

After seeing that, I headed upstairs to browse the vendor booths. As I walked about, I had a few different ladies ask me if I was going to yoga. I had totally forgotten that my race registration included access to a Flex and Flow yoga class! I changed my clothes, found Tara, and we grabbed some spots right in front.

The class was intense with some challenging moves but I felt so relaxed, stretched, and refreshed afterward! It was pretty amazing getting to do yoga with the women of Fit Approach! If you follow them, they do yoga all over the place and it was so cool to see that in person!

Photo credit: instagram.com/fitapproach

I don’t think my words can adequately express what a wonderful race this was. The feeling of empowerment seeing females supporting each other, the cool ocean air, the beautiful course, the feeling of doing something I love after taking a long break. These feelings are priceless and this event was simply amazing!

Race Recap – Marysville Peach Festival 5k

Race Recap – Marysville Peach Festival 5k

The Marysville Peach Festival 5k is a small event benefiting the Feather River YMCA. The race is put on by my former gym Training Zone and is attached to the popular local Peach Festival held every summer. The night before the race, I picked up my bib packet and sorted through all the goodies.

Then it was time for my favorite part – Flat Christa 🙂

I must say it was nice to be running in an event only 10 minutes away from my house for a change. I was able to “sleep in” until 5:30 A.M. when I usually have to be up at 4 for races. I got myself and everything ready to go and grabbed a few of these healthy oatmeal cupcakes I had made.

I was going to be racing with Alex in the stroller for the first time ever and I needed some breakfast to go. Best of all, Alex really liked them! He’s a somewhat picky eater so I call that a win. Here is a link to the recipe (side note: I skipped the chocolate chips and added cinnamon and chia seeds instead.)

We made the short drive over to Marysville, parked, and made our way to the Bok Kai Temple where everyone was meeting outside for the race. I found a couple of my Moms Run This Town friends there!

We caught up, talked about our goals for the race, and discussed how awesome Pro Compression socks are in both cuteness (that’s important, right?) and running benefits.

We headed up to the starting line and found another MRTT friend of ours!

We started chatting with her but we soon heard the announcer say that all walkers and runners with strollers had to head to the back of the pack. Off Alex and I went. I kept looking around through the crowd trying to find my friend Kelsey who was supposed to be at the race but I couldn’t find her. Before I knew it, the race was starting.

Alex wasn’t feeling the sun

I wish I would have ignored the instruction to stand in the back and stood in the middle like normal. When the race started, it was a slow shuffle like every race to get going. The problem was that the road was very narrow, only about 3 runners wide. I was unable to pass people in the grass like I normally would since I had the stroller. It took over half a mile to finally get my own space where I could run freely.

I had gone into this race knowing I was going to take it slowly. First of all, I was pushing the stroller. My 26 lb son + stroller + a bag full of toys and snacks = probably 40+ pounds. Second, it was hot! We didn’t start until 8 and the temperature was already pushing 90*F with little to no shade on the course. Third, hills. Eww hills. I’ve run this course once before so I knew there were a few steep ones. Fourth, I have a minor case of shin splints in my right leg that needs to heal before I start Half Marathon training. For all these reasons, I was in no way expecting to set a personal record.

Crossing the bridge

The course is slightly longer than a true 5k at 3.4 miles in length. We started on a levee, ran downhill past a park, uphill and across a bridge, down another levee, turned around and went back. Taking it slow was nice! I just enjoyed the views of the river, ran when I could, and walked when I couldn’t. The heat definitely got to me and I walked more than I thought I would. The hills were rough and I blame that mostly on the weight of the stroller. The final hill going back up to the first levee was the worst! I even took a picture to commemorate the horribleness haha. This photo does it zero justice…it looks so flat but I promise it was a big one!

Once I made it to the top, everything was great! Having zero pressure to achieve any sort of time was nice. I was pressing on and along came Kelsey running the other way! I had assumed she didn’t make it so I was happy to see that she had. I kept creeping along, crossed the finish line, and felt completely satisfied with my effort. There was no chip timer and I forgot to stop my Garmin when I finished so I have no idea what my time was and I’m totally fine with that. I was expecting a fun run and that’s exactly what I got!

I found my MRTT friends at the end and a couple of them had set some new PRs! I congratulated them and we got to talk for a bit while I waited for Kelsey to finish. I knew I wanted to say hello to her before I left. I don’t know what her time was, but it must have been fast because I feel like I wasn’t done long before she came speeding through the finish line!

After she got some water and caught her breath, she explained that her bib had been given to someone else so she had to go through a whole ordeal to get a new one and started the race 10 minutes late. In an unexpected twist, we got to spend the rest of the morning together enjoying the Peach Festival! She even treated me to a Sonoran Hot Dog which was SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

We meandered around for a couple of hours browsing the booths and sampling all the tasty treats. Alex enjoyed all the people, looking at toys, and playing with a balloon Kelsey got for him!

All in all, it was just a great day with a fun race and I loved having Alex with me. It was especially nice getting to see a lot of friendly faces! Plus you can’t beat devouring ALL the food after a hard run, right?

Race Recap – Women’s Fitness Festival 5k

Race Recap – Women’s Fitness Festival 5k

I had been patiently waiting for this race to come around. I was excited because I had heard it was a pretty huge event and it was called Women’s Fitness Festival. I love female empowerment and women supporting each other so I was ready to be surrounded by that kind of energy! Added bonus: my good running friend Stephanie from runstrongrun.com was running the 10k! I always love getting the chance to meet up with her, especially at races.

This event was created by Fleet Feet Sac and supports a very important cause. The proceeds benefit a local program called WEAVE (Women Escaping A Violent Environment) that helps women suffering from domestic abuse and sexual assault. You can read more about this program here. The Women’s Fitness Festival also has free health screenings for all participants and provides awareness and education on women’s health!

The night before the event, I made my shirt and laid out my #FlatMe per my usual pre-race tradition!

I got up at 4 A.M. to get ready. First things first? Coffee. I sipped it while I got dressed. This was my first time trying out Pro Compression socks. I looked in the mirror and felt a little silly wearing such tall socks but I think they are so cute so I was just gonna roll with it. I asked my husband Chris “How do I look?” and he let out a chuckle. He said I looked like a caricature of myself and that I looked cute haha!

Once everything was together, I hopped in the car at 5:30 for the trek to Sacramento. I feel like I beat the crowd heading down that early because I was able to park right across the street from the capitol building. Speaking of which, what a great backdrop to a race!

I slowly made my way over toward the event while enjoying the scenery and cool morning air. Then I met up with Stephanie!

She was hanging out with her awesome #runsquad of 6 other women! I introduced myself and we chatted while waiting for start time. Everyone was sharing their goals for the race and Stephanie asked what mine was. I told her that I just wanted to have fun and enjoy my run with no expectations. She responded “You’re going to set a PR. It’s just what you do!”

Eventually we realized we were all wearing Pro Compression socks and needed an obligatory sock circle photo!

We honestly did not plan this haha

After that we headed for the Start line!

This photo captures the spirit of this event. Over 4,000 amazing, strong women came together to celebrate each other and our love of running!

This was my first race where they had different pace times divided up. A few of us stood together near the 10:00 min/mile sign.

I knew I couldn’t run a 10:00 mile for 3 miles but I decided I wasn’t going to let the pacer out of my sight. This race was women only but the pacers were mostly men. They dressed the part and paced in drag! 😀

I figured if I could still see him, maybe I would get that PR Stephanie was predicting.

The cute girl in the pink glasses to the right of me is Alandrea AKA Mrs.motherrunner on Instagram! Go follow her!

The race announcer did our countdown and we all slowly shuffled through the Start line. It was very crowded so it took a while for everyone to get a little breathing room. Once we did, Stephanie and the other ladies took off like the speedy runners they are and I just kept my eyes on that 10:00 pace sign.

Like every race, I wanted to go fast but told myself go slow. It’s kind of funny how hard it is to do that! The course took us in a loop through the city streets. On almost every corner, there would be a big group of people, most of which were in costumes or had big signs cheering us on! At one point, I heard a girl on the phone telling her mom “I’m behind the girl with the black and white tube socks.” haha!

While I really enjoyed myself during this race, I ran harder than I had ever run. I only took a few very short (we’re talking less than 15 seconds) walking breaks. That last mile was tough but I could see us getting closer and closer to the capitol and that helped me push myself. I sprinted through the finish line and then I was so relieved when it was over! I have proof…look at this picture!

There were firemen waiting with our completion medals which I thought was really cool! After being handed my medal, someone handed me a water bottle and I found a grassy spot to sit and rest for a minute. After I hydrated and caught my breath, I headed for the Results laptops to check my time. Stephanie had called it. She had gotten in my head and manifested a new personal record for me! At 32:35, I had run this race a whole minute and a half faster than my previous PR set a only month before.

After reading my results, I decided to hit some booths before the crowd got too big. I loved being able to shop for running apparel and accessories after my race! I went straight to the giant Fleet Feet Sports Asics tent and got myself a running tank. Then I saw the Whole Foods tent across the street and walked that way. That’s when I bumped into a few of Stephanie’s friends and we decided to eat all together. We were served the tastiest granola I’ve ever had on top of some greek yogurt with fresh fruit on the side. For the next half hour, I got to know these ladies a little bit and they were so wonderful! I was just a mutual friend of Stephanie’s but they were taking the time to ask about me and share about themselves. They were incredibly nice and interesting women and it was so refreshing getting to know them!

After devouring that seriously delicious granola and seeing a few more booths, we were finally ready for our ultimate race reward: The Mimosa Garden.

Just imagine the sound of angels singing here

We went through the line, got our drinks, and found a table where we continued to enjoy each other’s company.

The mimosa was pretty small but it was SO YUMMY. I was bummed I couldn’t have another!

Stephanie had been enjoying the booths but caught up to us when we finished our drinks. We had to get a picture together with our beautiful medals.

Alas, it was time to part ways. Chris and Alex were waiting for me at home. I told everyone how nice it was to meet them all, said goodbye, and headed home. Also, my socks? They were great! My legs didn’t burn and my toes didn’t go numb. These were issues I’d been having when running 3 or more miles. They’re really comfortable too, not constricting! I always wear them on longer runs now!

I recommend this race to all women! If you can’t attend this race, I encourage you to find an all-women race near you! I absolutely loved participating in an event that celebrates females. I’ll be moving to Germany at the end of this year so unfortunately I won’t be able to attend this race again. It’s a huge bummer! So I need you all to go for me so I can live vicariously 😀

Empowerment

Empowerment

Happy Tuesday, everybody! I usually post on Monday but I’m thinking Tuesdays will be better. It’s honestly just hard for me to take the time to write on Sundays after having a busy weekend. I need a day to just chill, who feels me?

Anyway! What a great week I’ve had! First of all, I started that clean eating plan. I stuck to it for 3 days before kind of stopping. I won’t say it failed because it definitely helped me stop snacking and got my head right with food again. I eat pretty clean as it is (when I’m on track) so I’m sort of doing a halfsies thing with the plan. I’m still making some of the recipes half the time and then eating like normal half the time. I didn’t like having to make complicated meals 3 times a day plus making separate food for my son and husband. I also couldn’t kick the caffeine. Those 3 days were the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life I think haha. I have cut the coffee down at least from 2-3 cups per day to 1-2. What’s my favorite saying? Small victories. So, maybe the plan didn’t work out but I’m feeling excellent! Plus, I got back down to my lowest weight of 197 pounds (after being up 3 pounds last week). Hopefully I’ll start losing again. 🙂 For now, I’m still at a total loss of 108 pounds!

Next on the list of why my week has been great: I’ve been able to run consistently and pain-free!! This is huge for me because I was getting worried that I’d have to take a break. I was even nervous that I might not be able to train for my half marathon. Okay, I was getting overly paranoid haha. As a somewhat new runner, I think it’s understandable that I don’t really understand how injuries work. Thankfully, I followed the RICE method and did stretching and foam-rolling every day and the pain went away. In fact, I’m still doing this daily as a preventative measure.

Sometimes a certain someone doesn’t want to let me 🙂

Here’s a breakdown of my runs this week:

I had lost a little stamina from having to walk for a week or so but I’ve been slowly building it back up. Yesterday, Monday, I ran 3.1 miles with my Moms Run This Town chapter and though I had to take a few walk breaks, I kept a 10:36 pace! That’s pretty fast for me so I was feeling really proud and strong after that run.

Have I mentioned that I love running with this group?!

Speaking of moms running this town, this mom (#motherrunner!) had to do a lot more stroller miles this week than normal. It’s harder than you would maybe think! It’s an extra 35+ pounds that you’re not used to and my pushing hand always starts to hurt after a couple of miles. I’m actually trying to sell my current stroller to afford a jogging stroller to hopefully get a little relief. That’s mom life, though, right? We do what we have to do! At the very least, my son LOVES riding in the stroller, enjoying the sights and sounds, and talking about everything he recognizes.

Another great thing this week (I know, there are a lot of them…) is I won the MRTT Scavenger Hunt!

Park bench, pine cone, a person on a cell phone, and me creeping on someone on a bike haha!

We had a tie breaker and I was feeling very competitive so I set out on the first day and got all 15 items which snagged me the win! I still don’t know what prize I’m getting but just the bragging rights are good enough for me. I know I keep saying it but man, that was just SUCH a fun challenge! I look forward to more in the future.

As opposed to the scavenger hunt, I was faced with an unexpected challenge this week. I did the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Maybe you know who Kelly Roberts is and maybe you don’t. I’m only just recently learning about her. I had already fallen in love with her message of body positivity when she announced Global #SportsBraSquad Day. On June 24, she empowered female runners to run in just a sports bra because “strength comes in all different shapes and sizes.” While I LOVE this message, I was still not planning on running in a sports bra. The thought of going down the street like that absolutely terrified me.

Throughout the day on Saturday, it seemed like every female runner I follow on Instagram was joining the #SportsBraSquad! So many AMAZING and beautiful stories of body positivity and self-love were popping up and I was so inspired. I was still too scared to do a full run sans shirt BUT I did find a nice area for a photo, lost the shirt, and ran around for a few minutes to get a picture.

I won’t lie, I was ready to put my shirt back on. I’m just more comfortable that way, but I’m proud that I took it off in the first place. It proved to me just how far I’ve come down the road to self-acceptance! Who knows, maybe by this time next year, I’ll have no problem doing it for real. Did you join the #SportsBraSquad?

While we’re on the subject of empowerment, I received an email with a discount code for the Fit Approach EMPOWER Race that I’ll be running in August.

This is the perfect opportunity for you to register and join me! I’ll be doing the 5k but they also have a 10k and half marathon at the event. The code (“SUMMER”) is only good for today so act fast!

My goal this week is to finish June strong by completing my streak for #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS, hit my goal of 65 miles this month, and do a long run of 5+ miles one day. I’ve also been trying to plan a special run for Independence Day. I was going to do the We Run Free Because of the Brave Virtual 4 Miler but it was sold out when I went to register. Major bummer! I’ll have to think of something else. What are you planning to do to celebrate 4th of July? Have a wonderful week, stay hydrated in this summer heat, and I hope you hit some goals!

We’re Going Streaking!

We’re Going Streaking!

Happy Monday, Friends! As opposed to last week, I was ready and willing to write my post for today! We all have good days (or weeks) and bad but I’m definitely happy to be back to feeling good! I also mentioned last week that I would be starting a month-long run streak for #streakingwiththeCOOLKIDS on Facebook and Instagram.

I have also set a goal to run 65 miles this month.

My streak and my goal are both off to a strong start. As of day 4, I’ve already gone 11 miles! Here is a rundown of my workouts:

I ate pretty well all week with no big cheat meals. I finally dropped under 200 lbs for the first time in my adult life! I lost 3 lbs this week dropping me to 197 for a total loss of 108 lbs!

On Thursday, it was day 1 of my run streak and I was itching to get a good long run in. I texted my running friends Kelsey and Katja because we had been wanting to run together and we met up that evening!

We ran/walked 4 miles in the 90 degree heat! I had been hydrating all day long in preparation but it wasn’t quite enough. I felt a little nauseous and woozy when we got back to our cars. These women came to the rescue giving me some of their water and electrolyte drinks! I think I’ll stick to running early in the morning. Those temperatures are killer!

 One of the local Moms Run This Town chapters that I’m part of is having a running scavenger hunt this month! For example, one of the items is a picture with another runner that’s not running with you. So while I was out with Kelsey and Katja, I asked a girl we saw doing hill sprints (ow!) to take a selfie with me!

Kelsey got in on our picture too haha!

It’s been an entertaining challenge trying to get pictures of everything on the list while I’m out running. I even accidentally ran an extra mile on Friday roaming around finding things.

Sprinklers, American flag, body of water, and sunrise. Check!

#RunChat on Twitter (@therunchat) is also having #RunChatHunt this month until June 30th so you should all join in on the fun! You can even win a prize 🙂

A couple of weeks ago, I won a giveaway on Instagram thrown by @runner_jess_I received my winnings in the mail this week with a cute note written on the bag!

I have already used both of my nuun hydration performance packets and loved them! I drank the first one to recover from the 4 mile run I talked about before. I drank the second one before my Women’s Fitness Festival 5k and I could tell a huge difference during my race. I didn’t feel dehydrated mid-run which is an issue I have that I’ve been meaning to address for a while. I definitely need to invest in some more! I’m saving the huma gel packets for when I try some longer runs soon. More specifically, when I start my half marathon training!

Yes…I have officially registered for my first half marathon!!

I have previously mentioned I was interested in doing the Golden Gate Half Marathon but have since changed my mind. I decided to take a friend up on her offer of free entry to the Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon! (You can see this and other events I’ll be running on my Races page.) I’m scared but hey, if a goal doesn’t scare you a little bit, you’re not dreaming big enough, right? I’m very excited and ready to face this challenge! Thankfully, I still have about a month before I really start training up. For those of you thinking “wait, what about running the Golden Gate Bridge?” I will be running the bridge at some point before we move to Germany! Possibly when I’m in San Francisco for the Fit Approach EMPOWER Race.

I received another awesome package in the mail this week on the same day as the nuun and huma gel: my first ever Pro Compression socks!

I have had my eye on Pro Compression for what feels like forever. They have such cute socks and I love a good matching running outfit. However, I never wanted to spend the money because I don’t run long distance. I think the stars aligned and I was destined to have these because within a few days of registering for my half marathon, Pro Compression had a grab bag sale! I finally had a long distance race in my future so I bought a mystery pack of 3 pairs of socks for only $36. They are usually $50 a pair. The catch was that I had no idea what colors were coming my way. I have to say I feel very lucky because the 2 on the left were ones that I’ve been wanting.

I wore a pair for the first time at the Women’s Fitness Festival and loved them. Usually when I run 3+ miles, a few toes on my right foot go numb and that didn’t happen with these socks. Also, my calves weren’t burning like they did in my last 2 races even though I was running my fastest 5k to date at a 10:30 pace!

I definitely earned my mimosa!

The Women’s Fitness Festival was my favorite event I’ve run so far! It was SO FUN! Read my Race Recap here! I also wrote a review of the race on BibRave.com. Read it here!

This week will be more streaking for me including attempting a 10k on my own this weekend! What are your goals for the week? Comment below!

Race Recap – Run Around the Rice 5k

Race Recap – Run Around the Rice 5k

I had debated for a few weeks whether I should participate in this race or not. I knew my dad would be in town, it was almost an hour drive away, and I had a 19 month old to plan around. My running friend Kelsey started telling me I needed to do it because she and her friend Katja were going. Then a few days later, I got a text from Stephanie (RunStrongRun) saying I should go because she was doing the 10k. I finally caved under the peer pressure 😀 I asked my dad if he’d like to attend and he said yes so I registered for the race. I did think it would be pretty cool for him to see me doing my thing 🙂

As usual, I had to do my ritual flat Christa photo the night before.

Setting these up is almost as fun as the race.

I went to bed early to get plenty of rest. I woke up and had my coffee and got ready. I had an English muffin, banana, and cherries for breakfast.

My dad and I made the drive out to Richvale, CA. It was just fields and fields of rice paddies which I find pretty and peaceful. We parked and started walking down the gravel road toward the event. We walked up right as the 10k runners were taking off! I saw Stephanie and Kelsey running away among the group.

It was a small event so there weren’t many booths so my dad and I just chatted, took photos, and waited for the 5k to start.

 About 10 minutes before run time, the 5k runners started getting in place at the starting line.

I shook out my legs, started my running playlist, and got my Nike+ running app ready to go.

8:30 A.M. came and it was 3…2…1… START!

Something I noticed almost immediately was how hot it was. I assumed a morning race would be nice and cool but that wasn’t the case.

The first half mile or so was on gravel road. I was concentrating on pacing myself and not taking off too fast at the beginning. This was especially important since we were obviously going to be running on unpaved terrain and it was going to be harder than a normal run. After a while, we turned right and started on a grass and dirt trail that lasted most of the race. The paddies around us were serene and I was enjoying the nature. It was a really pretty run!

Nike+ chimed in at mile 1 with my time of 10:39. I was surprised that I had gone that fast since I was trying to go slower but I guess the race adrenaline was making me speedy anyway. I was feeling good and this time had me excited that I might get another new PR.

But then came mile 2.

I had made a huge mistake. I had eaten that big breakfast instead of my usual Clif Bar. Stomach cramps hit me hard. I tried to power through them at first but it made them worse. I had to walk almost the whole second mile. I kept trying to run when it would subside but they would come right back. I was upset. I didn’t know if the cramps were going to stop, I hate walking during a race, and my chance at a PR was crushed. My morale went out the window.

Around the mile 3 starting point, there was a station of people cheering and one of them was holding a sign that said “Just keep running!” It gave me motivation to try to run again. The stomach cramps stayed at a minimum the rest of the race but now I was dealing with other issues. I was hot, worn out and my calves were burning from running on the trail. I was able to run a lot more of the third mile but I still had to take some walking breaks. My dad saw me struggling and texted me the sweetest thing!

I was mentally defeated, burning up, dehydrated, and my left foot was getting sharp pains if I landed on the rocks a certain way. Despite all this, once I saw the finish line, I wouldn’t let myself stop running.

Notice the heat blurs behind me

A big part of what kept me going was knowing my dad was watching. I found the strength to push through, keep running, and I even sprinted at the very end.

This was the hardest race I’ve run so I was just relieved that it was over! I paced around catching my breath and my dad led me to a literal trough filled with water bottles haha. I told him about all the trouble I was having and he told me he was proud of me 🙂 When I felt less like I was dying, I made it to the Results laptop to check my time. As expected, I hadn’t set a new PR but I was shocked to see that I had placed 2nd in the Female 30-39 group! I had never placed in a race before so I was really excited!

After that, we found Stephanie and said hello! She also placed 2nd in her age group for the 10k! We posed together with our finisher medals.

Then I heard “Christa Christa!” and Kelsey and her friend Katja had found us. This was Kelsey’s first 10k! Katja actually finished as the #1 female overall for the 5k. Great accomplishments all around!

Me, Kelsey, and Katja!

Instead of medals, they handed out goodie bags for all of the finishers. What was inside? Rice of course!

I mean…why WOULDN’T you win rice at the Run Around the Rice 5k/10k?

The day came to a close with a crop duster flying right over us!

In spite of how bad I felt during the race, overall it was a great time! I got some experience with challenges I hadn’t faced before so I can be more prepared in future events. I’m glad my friends talked me into it and that my dad got to be there! Every race just makes me want to participate in more. I love the challenge, the satisfaction of accomplishment, and most of all, the community and camaraderie! The people make it a hundred times more fun.

Be sure to take a look at my races page and furthermore, sign up for some and join me!

I’m Just 1 Pound Away…

I’m Just 1 Pound Away…

Happy Monday!

This was the 2nd and final week of the Sweating Awesome Facebook Accountability Group. I loved this group because we lifted each other up and they helped me A LOT. I stuck to my goals, got back on track with eating, and I lost 2 more pounds this week for a total of 4 pounds lost during the group. I hadn’t lost weight for 2 weeks before we formed up so they really turned me around!

I weigh 200 lbs for a total weight loss of 105 lbs! I wanted to hit 199 and enter “onederland” but that’s okay. I’ll get it next week for sure! I may have gotten there if I’d exercised more but I was dealing with foot pain waiting for my new shoes to arrive and resting up for a 5k. Here’s a rundown of my workouts this week:

I had a special challenge during this second week in the form of my dad being in town for a visit. I don’t know about you, but anytime we have a visitor or we go on vacation, I eat pretty horribly. We always go out to eat a lot and it’s not always easy to find a healthy dish to order. Or, if you’re like me, it’s not always easy to pick the healthy dish 🙂 Thanks to the Accountability Group, I made the extra effort to make sure we always ate somewhere with healthy options and I ordered them! There were a few times that I felt bad that we couldn’t eat at some of the less nutritious places my dad and I like to go to (Hello, In N Out!) The group helped me get more comfortable with the idea of making sure I’m taking care of my health no matter what. I know 100% my dad didn’t mind where we ate, but I feel bad or less fun in situations like that. But guess what…we all ate and had a lot of fun and it didn’t matter! I need to take this lesson forward with me when I don’t have a group to fall back on.

My dad rode his motorcycle from Colorado here to California for this visit. Then, something happened that hadn’t happened in 10 years: I got to ride on the bike with him! This is significant to me because I used to be too big to ride with him. He never said it and I never asked but I knew. He rides to military memorials and monuments for the Tour of Honor which benefits veterans. So we set out to visit 2 sites in my local area.

These memorials were beautiful and well-kept. I appreciate the fact that my dad honors fallen heroes like this.

We also kept seeing rooster/chicken art everywhere we went!

We found a great restaurant in Woodland, CA called Chick Peas for lunch.

I had a chicken hummus plate with yummy veggie toppings and pita! I was happy to find this gem among the more convenient unhealthy food joints around.

It felt great to go out on the bike again. I feel more connected to nature and my surroundings than I do in a car. I feel the same way when I run outside. The reminder of how far I’ve come with my weight loss was a nice cherry on the sundae.

On Tuesday, my shiny new shoes arrived on my front door step! On Wednesday, I took them out for a 2 mile run and they felt amazing. It was like running on clouds!

I was running a little slower and pacing myself for an easy run. With my old shoes, that would’ve had me at about 11:30 pace per mile. These shoes made a huge difference with an average pace of 10:54. That pace would have been me pushing myself in my old shoes. Crazy! My knee problem also seemed to disappear once I made the switch. My foot is still healing from feeling like it has no padding. I have to wear sandals around the house because I stand on the hard floor in the kitchen a lot. Anyway, these shoes are fantastic! I will definitely be more mindful about when to upgrade from now on.

I also got my first Momentum wrap bracelet that you can see in the photo above. It says “She believed she could so she did” which I felt was the most perfect quote to sum up my weight loss and running journey. These bracelets are cute and when I struggle with a run, now I know I can look down and there will be a reminder of my hard work to push me!

On Saturday, May 20th, I participated in the Run Around the Rice 5k in Richvale, CA! I will be posting a race recap soon but let me just say, it was a hard run. Overall, it was a fun event and great learning experience and I’m glad I ran it!

Remember last week when I said I was thinking about running the Golden Gate Half Marathon? I’m probably going to do it. I was offered free entry into another half marathon which was tempting but I kept thinking about how we’re a military family and this could be my only chance to run the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s funny how life works because that’s been on my mind all week and then we actually got orders this weekend. We’ll be moving to Germany soon! It’s going to be an exciting new adventure. Being a runner, of course, one of my first thoughts was about finding beautiful places to run haha 😀 BUT…back to my main topic here, this is just one more thing pushing me toward this half marathon!

Do you have any advice for training for a big race? Comment below! Also take a look at my Races page and join me 🙂

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